How To Break Free From Our Past

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.

Rick Warren


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For some of us, it is not easy to free ourselves from our past. We remain chained to it for as long as we live until we break free or pretend to be free. Most times, we pretend to be.

So, truly we are a product of our past, it remolds us to a new or strange person even we can’t recognise, accept or embrace. I am yet to see a person who goes through a traumatic experience and remain the same.

I used to be a very private person, shy, daring, and bold. My friends were my books, my novels, I had a very beautiful world where I lived mostly with the characters in my novels and the ones in my head.

But after my accident, especially after the corrective surgery on my pelvis, I became a different person. I could read for hours and never get tired, now I can barely read a book for an hour before dropping it for something else.

Then there is always this feeling of detachment, like some part of you is somewhere else or like you don’t have all that makes you whole in one place.

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.” John Banville

John Banville is so right about the above. I know because I can relate.

The past feels like you have another being inside of you. And each breath he takes reminds you of what you went through. Each pump of his heart makes it difficult to let go.

You can’t break free, it keeps you glued to that one fateful day or days in your past.

You live every day with the memory of your torment playing ever slowly in front of you.

Although the incidence happened so fast you thought you saw nothing, later you see everything in your mind over and over again till it’s the only thing you can see.

Some days, you wake up and feel normal, ready to face the day, ready to move on, try new adventures and break free from that which imprisons you.


Then like a punch it hits you in the nose and you are in the mud back to where you were.

“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” Cormac McCarthy

Other days, it wouldn’t be the memory hunting, taunting you. It will be the souvenirs you got from the past. They have this funny habit of reminding you of your darkest days at your happiest or best times.

At that time when you feel you have risen above them, they rise higher and shove you back in the water, leaving you, choking, gasping for breath.

No matter how far or fast you run, it always catches up with you. It lies in wait for you in your most vulnerable moment in the present, entrapping and holding you down.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Gautama Buddha,

No one can save us. Not the quotes or the counsels or our books on moving on.

We are the only one who can save ourselves. We must look within and outside to find the best and easiest way to break free from our past.

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  1. I think my toughest challenges have helped me relate and connect more with others. When I was in them, I learned what helped and what not to say to others. Now I view my past as experiences that helped me become stronger and more relatable.

    1. Letting go of the past has got to be one of the hardest things in life. It’s something that I still battle with and although I tell myself I’ve moved last it, I find that it still manifests in some shape or form. This was a great read.

  2. Great post. Quite deep thinking. No matter what happened in the past, they’re our great teacher for our present. As much as we want to forget our past, we should embrace it as a part of our life journey.

  3. This is a very interesting point. I usually find the opposite to be true for me though. The past has only made me stronger and the reminders help me know where I’ve been but realize how far I’ve come. It is important to look within though for most things. Outside happiness or dependency on other things to make us β€œhappy” will never leave us feeling truly that way.

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