Can I Let Go of My Past?
Normally someone asking this question, either directly or indirectly in this form, is aware that their actions to date, and their past life, to some degree act as a template for their present and future life.
Any level of self awareness based on an awareness of the individuals inner world and their need to own their own present day reality delivers a degree of freedom. There is normally a varying level of fear amongst people who even contemplate the idea of self-awareness.
There seems to be a natural human tendency to blame other people and some type of universe or God type power for what happens in peoples, lives rather than owning the reality of their own life.
However, the reality is that if an individual is willing to look at their past and in some way own it and deal with any legacy that might be present, they are freed to be themselves in the present moment in a way that cannot happen otherwise.
Perhaps the best example of this are people who are recovering alcoholics or people who have had to own and deal with any type of addiction. The 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous has become symbolic of what many people see as a set of principles that allow an individual to own their past in a way that is both healing and freeing.
There is a degree of pressure for someone who is an alcoholic to adopt these principles as a way of life, as based on the experience of Alcoholics Anonymous, failure to do so runs a risk of people drinking again. For people who don't have this incentive or pressure, the attraction of self-awareness is more difficult to pin down.
However being willing to look at your past involves looking at what has happened to you, how you coped with it at the time, and how any such emotional coping mechanisms may have formed your character development that determine your day-to-day reactions to life and the focus of how you live your life at the moment.
One part of the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is that of being willing to make amends to people where you feel you have caused them harm. The fear of revisiting any harm done to other people, great or small, can often be a major stumbling block for alcoholics in recovery for fairly obvious reasons.
However the fear is often not about the incident or harm itself, but often about a fear of revisiting and owning the reality of one's past life. Fear faced can be processed and freedom bought.