Why It Is So Important to Let Go of the Past

An inability to let negativity go can have devastating effects on a person.

Ashley Foster September 26, 2018
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I want you to think for a moment about all the things you’ve done in your life that you’re not proud of. I have many of them, and I’m sure you do too. Aren’t you glad that those events in your past don’t define you? Isn’t it great that you don’t have to be reminded of them every day? Life doesn’t come with a manual or a crystal ball. Sometimes, we make choices that we think are good at the time, but in reality, they might be unnecessary, irresponsible, or selfish. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Hopefully, in the aftermath of those circumstances, we learn, grow, and do better.

I’ll give it to you that some mistakes are worse than others. The weight of some decisions stays with you forever. You can’t allow that to take over your life though. An inability to let negativity go can have devastating effects on a person. It can cause destruction and wreak havoc on a life that would otherwise have so much potential.

Adoption is a perfect example of why it’s so important to let go of the past. I was adopted at birth. Over the years, I’ve had many different feelings and emotions about my birth parents. I have reunited with my birth family now. We have had an amazing two years together to be a part of each other’s lives. I wouldn’t give that up for anything. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that I agree with the choices that were made prior to my birth. If I had been in my birth mother’s place, I would have done everything differently. Looking back, I think she would too. Hindsight is often 20/20.

We don’t get redos though. Life just is what it is. Some adoptees harbor these feelings of anger and resentment for a lifetime. It’s not healthy. I’m not suggesting you can’t be upset. I’m not saying that you need to forgive and forget, but you do need to let it go. When I think of myself in my birth mom’s shoes all those years ago, I can’t fault her for doing what she thought was right. And I really hope that no one ever judges me for the remainder of my life for something I did in my youth. You don’t have to want a reunion or a relationship, but it’s not fair to either of you to hold on to that one day in history forever.

Your birth parents may have been feeling guilty for your adoption placement for all of these years. Those thoughts and feelings could prevent them from really living. Don’t cause them to taint every aspect of their life with their past actions. Release them from the guilt and shame they may be feeling. It doesn’t do anyone any good. They deserve to be happy and so do you. Move on and enjoy your life whether that includes your birth family or not.

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Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees' rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at http://ashleysfoster.blogspot.com/.

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