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Photo by Tegan Mierle

Finding ways to leave the past behind you is often the hardest thing we do. But there are things you need to let go of because it’s a necessary process to living a happy fulfilling life.

And I don’t know about you, but that’s one of my aims for life.  That it’s happy and fulfilling.

But it isn’t always an easy thing for any of us.

There’s a fine art to life. It’s a sort of mingling between letting go and holding on and knowing which one to do and when to do it.

One thing’s for sure, if you don’t leave the past behind you, you can never make room for the present and the future.

And I have successfully failed to let go and leave the past behind more often than I’ve hot dinners!  So clearly I’ve missed out on a lot of future goodies.

Which means I had to learn to let go more easily, ‘cos I had a lot of catching up to do.

I had to remind myself that leaving the past behind didn’t mean I didn’t care about someone or something anymore.  I just had to adapt to life’s ever-changing realities and appreciate what every experience and every someone taught me.  They all brought gifts that have helped me grow.

Here’s 21 quotes to help you leave the past behind you 

  1. As we mature and become wiser, it becomes easier to see what we need to keep and what we need to leave behind.  Walking away is the same as moving forward. 
  2. How can you achieve your full potential if you’ve got too firm a grip on things it would be better to let go of.
  3. If we want to fly we have to leave the earth, if we want to move forward we have to let go of the past that holds us back.
  4. Sometimes letting go and leaving the the past behind you is simply about changing the way you’ve thought about things. Looking at the past with a new perspective.
  5. If you have a hard time leaving the past behind, remember this, unless you let go of the situation from the understanding that it’s over, you can’t move forward.
  6. Life is a cycle and some cycles need to be shut down, because they no longer fit into your life.  So close the door. Change the tune. Clean house. Stop being who you were so you can be who you’re meant to be.
  7. Be brave enough to burn your bridges.  That way you have no choice but to keep moving forward.
  8. Sometimes we just have to accept what’s here today by letting go of what was and having faith in what’s to be.
  9. Letting go doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you’re brave and strong enough to accept it’s time to let go, and you just go ahead and do it.
  10. Holding on to something that was good for you in the past is probably the very reason you don’t have something better.
  11. Don’t be afraid of change.  Change happens because we keep growing.  When life flows, flow with it. It isn’t always easy, but it will be worth it.
  12. Once you begin to see you deserve a bright, exciting future, letting go of your dark, painful past will come to be the best choice you ever made.
  13. The past is dead. It’s over. It’s gone. It’s done.  It’s time to bury it. Why would you choose to live with decaying memories?
  14. One of the hardest battles in life is between hanging on and letting go.
  15. A fearful past can only cause a fearful future unless you let it go.  You can’t experience love when you are living in fear.
  16. Release yesterday. Leave the past behind you. It’s never coming back. Today is a chance to allow the new you to bloom.
  17. You’ve got to know that things don’t always happen the way you think they should, so let go of expectations and prepare to be thrilled with what life has in store.
  18. If you miss the boat, let it go.  It’ll be okay there’ll be another one along soon.
  19. Don’t allow the world around you to keep moving while you remain stuck.  Let go of the old habits that hinder your happiness and allow yourself to thrive.
  20. Peace of mind happens when you choose to be at peace with the stories your mind continually tells. It arrives when you let go of the need for things to be other than they are.
  21. Leaving the past behind you is about embracing life’s changes, trusting in yourself, and appreciating that every experience and person will bring you value.

 Final thoughts 

Whatever you do please don’t say to yourself, “Why don’t you just let go and get over this?”

If it were that simple we’d all do it all the time, because letting go of the negative things that continue to hurt and wound us is a no-brainer.

It just isn’t that easy. So give yourself a chance to think and explore. Allow yourself the time to learn and grow at your own pace.

Take the time to get to know yourself and discover that you are a precious, extraordinary soul.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to take a look at ourselves through the eyes of love so be nice and gentle with yourself and just pay attention to what’s out of sync and not working, take your courage in your hands and believe in yourself.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Dear Elle,
    My name is Teresa. I just read your rotes, and the statement at the end of the quotes…… I have only, one word, “Wow!!!!!”
    These quotes hits home with me. Why? Well, I’ll tell you why. I am having a hard time in doing just this very thing. I have had a rough childhood, and have been forced into, and coerce into doing things, in which case, a 10 year old should not have been doing. As a teenager, the things I had been forced into, and coerced into doing, I ended up doing them voluntarily. Here I am, I’m an adult, who is 58 years of age. I am a mother, of 4 sons. My husband and I have been separated for the past 12 years. Not the first time, we’ve separated though. We’ve separated twice before. The first two times, I left him. This last one, he had left me. During my teenage years and on into my adulthood, I have lost for the most part, around 10 to 12 family members in the span of two decades, whom has passed away. I was really, close to some of them. I have been told, the past is the past, and that, I should let it all go, but…. how can I? I’m an emotional person. My whole life has been turned upside down because, of the many losses in my family. The hardest one to let go, is my mother. Though, the pain has subsided, I still miss her. It had taken me a year and a half to get over her loss.
    Today, I find myself, in a daze still, trying to figure out my life, and where I want to go with it. I still have not found my “True Self” again. I know, it’s somewhere, deep within me, but…. I just don’t know where. I have been baptized at the age of 14, but..have walked away from Him (God). I have the need to come back to Him with all that I am, but at the moment, I am finding myself, having to work on Sundays. I don’t like that one bit. Please, is there any advice you can give to me at this time? I’d greatly, appreciate it.

    • Hi Teresa – thank you for sharing your story with us. I know there will be others who will resonate with some of the things you have been through in your life. I wish I could offer better advice to support you in your awareness of who you are and who you might be, but since I am not a professional in this field I feel it better to simply tell you what I would do. And have done, having gone through some tough times myself as a child on up. From what I know now of how life works, I would begin within. We don’t need to keep the past in our field of vision, so I would choose to imagine I am the person I want to be and am doing the things I want to do. This doesn’t mean I would never have the past pop in for a visit, but it does mean I wouldn’t allow it to linger and would move on as soon as possible to who I’ve decided to be and use that image and an affirmation or two or even a quote or two as a mantra. I wish you every joy and happiness for the future that awaits. <3

  2. Very helpful, Elle. I’ve been having trouble with this lately so these quotes definitely help! Thank you.

    • Hi Sandra, you are very welcome. I’m glad the quotes are helpful. I know for myself I need some mantra or quotes to keep me focused on what I’d like to experience now, and move my mind away from the past. 🙂

  3. I like these. This is my favorite: Sometimes letting go and leaving the past behind you is simply about changing the way you’ve thought about things. Looking at the past with a new perspective. I know changing my perspective about many past events helped me let them and the pain go.

    • Hi Debbie – sometimes letting go is really changing the perspective we have on things. Like you, I’ve had to do this a few times in my life.

  4. You won’t believe how much positive change your site has done to me today. Thank you very much for this post. My mind has really been helped

  5. This quote really lifted my spirit today…. Thanks

  6. Oh dear! Thanks a lot for these quotes. Whoever you are, just know that you lift a lot of spirits everyday. This it so lovely.

  7. ihejirika gibson

    Thank you so much,this article is helpful.

  8. Thank you for putting this out there. I agree with your opinion and I hope more people would come to agree with this as well.

  9. SEO Frisbee

    “The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.” – Unknown
    “The past is a place of learning, not a place of suffering.” – Roy T. Bennett
    “The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or erased; it can only be accepted.” – Unknown

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