It is not that the past doesn’t exist; it touches our lives still, and not always kindly.
The past is persistent in its claims, and if allowed the space, debilitating.
It can leave us feeling inadequate or lonely or resentful or dependent or failing or restless and quite unfit to handle life. It can take us up and it can take us down.
So we do need to leave it when we can, leave it behind, again and again, for its no longer true.
It was true… but is no longer so. It is not true today which is where we are.
As Jung reminds us, ‘What is true in the morning is a lie in the afternoon.’
The past is stale bread, the future is no bread, the present is fresh bread.
So, the New Year is a good time, once again, to let go of the past. Traditionally a time for fresh intentions, leaving behind and beginning again seems almost natural.
And as we gaze into the unknown, which is the year ahead, we will not fear. In the words of John O’Donohue:
‘Beginnings often frighten us because they seem like voyages into the unknown.
Yet in truth, no beginning is empty or isolated.
We seem to think that beginning is setting out from a lonely point along some line of direction into the unknown.
This is not the case.
Shelter and energy come alive when a new beginning is embraced.’
As we say goodbye to the past, and begin again, we find new friends, fresh strength, surprising aptitudes and skills.
There’s really nothing to do.