Last week I was at the coffee shop waiting for a friend of mine. She’d called me to say she was running late so I settled in to do my favorite thing: people watch.
It was a conversation that caught my attention, though.
At a table nearby, a woman was upset about the break-up of a relationship and her friend was consoling her. Even though the relationship ended a while ago, it seemed, the woman was having a hard time letting go. She seemed to be questioning whether she could have done more or done things differently. Her friend gently told her that she had done all she could. The woman continued on, though, as if she was searching desperately for something she could do now that would change what had already happened.
In other words, she wanted to do something in the here-and-now that would reach back over time and change the past.
That realization struck a chord with me because there have been times in my life–heck, even now!–where situations had turned into issues because I wasn’t letting go. I, too, had looked for something to do in the present that would change the past.
There is nothing we can do now or in the future that will change the past, alter what happened, or make it come out differently–better.
Which means that all we can do is find a way to make peace with the past. We don’t have to like it or be happy about it. We just need to come to terms with it such that we can turn our backs on it and look to the future.
Realizing this has made it a little easier to detach from my feelings about what did/didn’t happen that had then caused me pain and made me stop in my tracks. It’s made it easier to look to the future, which has helped me stop trying to fix the past.
Let it go.
Your Friend and Pep Pal,