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Releasing Negative Emotional Baggage: Why there are no mistakes in life - only learnings

April 11, 2024

The great Beyonce once said, “Thank God I found the GOOD in Goodbye.” While it’s an easy line to say (or sing), I suspect she had done the hard work to get to that point just like you did in the previous chapters. Finding the good in goodbye means appreciating your past, honouring your struggles, and developing an understanding of what it is you’ve been looking for in terms of validation. 

I’m about to take you through the next vital step in the process of healing your past, and that is to release the negative emotional baggage you’ve been carrying around. You know it’s been holding you back! But what now? 

You know what I’m going to make you do: say our mantra out loud: 

“I am the master of my destiny, not a victim of my history I have courage, humility and discipline.”

Have you ever asked yourself why we hold onto our old pain and our old stories? I say “we” because everyone does it. There are two logical reasons for this phenomenon. The first is that we have invested so much time, so much of our lives into developing these stories that it seems painful to let them go or change their outcome. A lot of time, energy and effort goes into the narrative I have at 40 years of age. What does it say about me if I change myself from victim to victor? Did the past not happen? Not hurt? It’s a valid grapple, but only one conclusion releases you. 

The second reason is summarised in that last line – these stories caused us pain. We think that if we release the story that caused us pain, we release the person who did. It’s a fair thing not to want the last part of that sentence. So let me help you resolve it. 

You have lived, survived and gotten past your old story. Staying stuck in it isn’t going to serve you anymore. It’s going to keep you stuck in survival mode, keep you from thriving, and drain you mentally and physically. 

The second challenge, letting go of the person who wronged you, involves realising that you’re not actually letting them go. You’re letting go of the story of pain. It no longer has to live at the front of your mind. You can move on. To put this into a process, I ask myself three questions: 

  1. What is the reason I am holding on? 
  2. What is the realisation needed to move on? 
  3. How can I let this go? 

I have been deeply inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela. Imagine spending 27 years in prison, only to reflect on those years this way: “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” 

I can’t imagine the horrors and injustices he felt in the years leading up to that statement. So if he could do it, surely I could? Surely you can! Its not about changing the past. Its about letting go of the pain. 

I know you can do this. And I know it's essential to move forward. But I also know its easier said than done, and it sure took me a while. So lets pause for a moment to reflect. Take time to feel your emotions, and if you feel like crying – do it. But take some time to look at the big negative emotions and memories in your life. Answer those three questions above as many times as you need to.

In the next blog article, I’ll be showing you two more powerful healing exercises. For now, take your time on this one. Allow your inner child to grieve. Understand the reasons you are holding on.

I’ll see you in the next article.

Believing in you as always

Moustafa Hawmi 

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Moustafa Hamwi - Keynote Speaker, Coach, Author