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50 Quotes on Letting Go of the Past

by Marelisa

letting go of the pastThere’s an Arab proverb that states that you should write the bad things that happen to you in the sand; that way, they can be easily erased from your memory.

However, most of us engrave the bad things that happen to us in marble; therefore, our painful memories remain immortalized in our minds. We walk around with our failures, our mistakes, our disappointments, and our hurts from the past shackled around our ankles, weighing us down.

In order to fully live in the present, and adequately plan for the future, we need to learn what we can from the painful memories of the past, and then let those memories go. Below you’ll find 50 quotes to help you in the process of letting go of the past.

1. “If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve made, if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.” – Steve Maraboli

2. “If you want to forget something or someone, never hate it, or never hate him/her. Everything and everyone that you hate is engraved upon your heart; if you want to let go of something, if you want to forget, you cannot hate.” – C. Joybell C.

3. “Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!” – Steve Maraboli

4. “Sometimes letting go is simply changing the labels you place on an event. Looking at the same event with fresh eyes.” ― Steve Maraboli

5. “When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.” ― Gerald G. Jampolsky

6. “I realise there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.” ― Jeffrey McDaniel

7. “Know that everything is in perfect order whether you understand it or not.” ― Valery Satterwhite

8. “Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

9. “Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go.” – Oprah Winfrey

10. “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

11. “Hanging on to resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” – Ann Landers

12. “Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else other than you was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.” ~ Osho

13. “Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?” – Leo Buscaglia

14. “Asking ourselves, ‘Where am I right now?’ gives us a chance to step outside the internal dialogue for a moment of peace. Look around you, take a deep breath and notice what you see, hear and feel. Present moment awareness is the point of power and choice. It frees us from our compulsive thoughts.” – Laura Harvey

15. “The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time. And that’s why when one has become a forgiving person, and has managed to let go of the past, what they’ve really done is they’ve shifted their relationship with time.” – Caroline Myss

16. “Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today, and you make your tomorrow.” – L. Ron Hubbard

17. “Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” – Mary Manin Morrisse

18. “I don’t regret difficulties I experienced; I think they helped me to become the person I am today. I feel the way a warrior must feel after years of training; he doesn’t remember the details of everything he learned, but he knows how to strike when the time is right.” – Paolo Coelho

19. “Never let the past spoil your present or govern your future.” – Author Unknown

20. “When you understand,” Brandy says, “that what you’re telling is just a story. It isn’t happening anymore. When you realize the story you’re telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trashcan,” Brandy says, “then we’ll figure out who you’re going to be.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

21. “Take it from me: If you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging up your back and runing its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do-the only thing-is run.” ― Lauren Oliver, Delirium

22. ““The past can’t hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

23. “I pray that former rejection and deep hurts will not color what I see and hear now.” – Sue Augustine

24. “What’s done is done.” ― Hilliard MacBeth

25. “The past was always there, lived inside of you, and it helped to make you who you were. But it had to be placed in perspective. The past could not dominate the future.” ― Barbara Taylor Bradford, Unexpected Blessings

26. “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

27. “Bring the past only if you are going to build from it.” – Doménico Cieri Estrada

28. “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau

29. “Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past.” – Tryon Edwards

30. “The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present.” – Barbara De Angelis

31. “Never regret- If it’s good, it’s wonderful.If it’s bad, it’s experience.” – Anonymous

32. “The past does not equal the future unless you live there.” – Tony Robbins

33. “Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly, it reminds us that we know that we could do better.” – Kathryn Schultz

34. “You need to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old . . .” Sarah Ban Breathnach

35. “I use memories, but I will not allow memories to use me . . .” Deepak Chopra

36. “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put the past together again. So let’s remember: Don’t try to saw sawdust.” – Dale Carnegie

37. “If you’re still hanging onto a dead dream of yesterday, laying flowers on its grave by the hour, you cannot be planting the seeds for a new dream to grow today.” – Joyce Chapman

38. “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass

39. “Only by acceptance of the past can you alter it.” – T.S. Eliot

40. “A lot of people go through life like they are rowing a boat. They look at where they have been (the PAST) rather than where they are going (the FUTURE).” – Unknown Source

41. “It’s very expressive of myself. I just lump everything in a great heap which I have labeled the past, and, having thus emptied this deep reservoir that was once myself, I am ready to continue.” Unknown Source

42. “”Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” – Denis Waitley

43. “The past should be a learning experience not an everlasting punishment. What’s done is done.” – Unknown Source

44. “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

45. “You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.” – Maya Angelou

46. “Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much longer. But all are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play. Embrace them all, and move on to the next act.” – Wayne Dyer

47. “If you believe that feeling bad will change a past event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.” – Wayne Dyer

48. “You can victimize yourself by wallowing around in your own past.” – Wayne Dyer

49. “The past has no power over the present moment.” ― Eckhart Tolle

50. “Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.” – Robin Sharma

Let go of the past, live in the present, and plan  for the future.

Related Posts:

1. 12 Lessons For Creating Inner Peace (Lessons 1-6)
2. Five Powerful Ways to Forgive Those Who Have Wronged You
3. Dealing With Life’s Challenges – Life Is Like a Game of Chutes and Ladders
4. 67 Perseverance Quotes to Keep You Going

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wendy merron October 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Marelisa – what a great group of quotes. Today # 28 really resonated with me.

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau

I can’t imagine how long it took to compile these…

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Royce May 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

You can’t change the past, but you can change the present right now to affect the future.

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