What Happens When You Let Go of the Past?

an open hand symbolizing saying goodbye and letting go of the past

At the end of 2018 I did something really hard. It was letting go of a piece of my past.

On Dec. 31, I said goodbye to the work I’d been doing for the past ten years in senior living. Facilitating Storytelling and Life Enrichment sessions was a fun gig, but something in me knew it was time to step away.

It wasn’t easy. I spent a few weeks going back and forth on the decision. I cried. I prayed. I asked for guidance. When my name went missing from the community program listing two weeks in a row, I knew it was a loud sign!

Something in my heart knew I’d reached the end of the road, but my mind continued to argue.

  • You love this job. Nobody gives up a job they love!
  • You’re abandoning those seniors who love you.
  • Even though it isn’t a lot of money, you’ll miss the few hundred $$ that came in every month.

But in reviewing 2018 I was forced to admit that my plate was full and flowing over. And even though I loved the seniors and my weekly session with them, I began to feel that I was being called to create space for something else.

Letting go is hard. Letting go of something you truly love is harder.

In life we’re always being asked to let go. Here’s the thing. We can’t move on to the next thing the universe has in store for us IF we don’t let go of what we’re holding on to.

Think of how a baby grows. She must let go of the need to lie on her back in order to flip over to her tummy. She must let go of the safety of being supported by the floor and stand up so that she can learn to balance on both feet. She must give up crawling so she can walk.

The difference between a baby and us: a mind that argues, complains, resists, and spins stories.

Whereas a baby follows the natural progression of these stages instinctively, we do all of the above.

Where, in life, are you struggling to let go? Is it:

  • a relationship where you don’t feel respected?
  • a friendship that has run its course?
  • the need to be all things to all people?
  • giving away a deceased loved one’s possessions?

Three things happen when you let go.

  1. You look at what you’re saying goodbye to with gratitude and reverence for having been in your life.
  2. You open yourself to the next thing that’s waiting to move into your life–whether it’s a new friendship, job, home, or even a new version of YOU.
  3. You learn a very important practice that everything in the universe lives by. Trees, snakes, toads, and streams.

Here’s what you must not do when you’ve let go of something or someone

  • Try to grab it back. If you let the voice of fear grow loud inside your head, it will convince you that you made a mistake and grab all the evidence it can from your past to show you. That will make you run back to that ex, or call your girlfriend and apologize (even if you did nothing wrong).
  • Demand that the next door open NOW. The next door will open on the universe’s timeline, not yours. Wait patiently, knowing that the universe has your back. Being frustrated or stressed because you don’t know what’s next will only push the gift away from you. Practice patience.

I sense that there are some big things on the horizon for me, but I must confess I don’t have 100% clarity just yet. My job is to trust and be patient. My job is to take inspired action every single day. My job is to simply wait. As it is yours.

If you’re struggling to let go oof someone or something, my masterclass on Surrender may serve as a guide.


  1. Gina Noel Decker on January 24, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    I find that it’s sometimes difficult to “Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding,” as Proverbs directs. But if we do let go, things will be so much better. Thanks for your thoughtful blog post.

    • Uma Girish on January 25, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      I’ve come to find that leaning on my own understanding often gets me into more trouble. Just waiting and moving with ease and flow as guided by the Divine gets me to a much better place…and solves everything. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for your comments. I always appreciate them.

  2. April Snider on January 24, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Thank you Uma. Your words are both wise and timely. I am leaving a 11 relationship that was not a healthy one. I am leaving the black hole that was said to have light at the end of the tunnel. I am painting a pic but it will have with the sorrow within the eye in the hole the radiance of the chacras being restored and turning my pain into gold. My first layer is done. The pain. Next tending to my needs using it all as the gold I walk on to my next journey.❤️

    • Uma Girish on January 25, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      I’m grateful that my words landed in your heart <3 Yes, you will find the gold as you walk this journey with forgiveness, self-compassion and hope. May your journey forward be blessed.

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