Let’s face it: we all have negative or bad experiences that we just cannot seem to get past. There are just certain things, that when remembered, always cause anxiety and anger to build up inside us. And we have to admit that sometimes we just don’t want to let go of these negative emotions and memories. Why? Do we want to feel like we’re the victim? Do we need to even the score before we let go?

The truth is, holding on to negative emotions, feelings, thoughts, or experiences drag us down. It drags us down mentally, emotionally, and sometimes, even physically. This mental and emotional distress doesn’t do us any good in life and can affect the way we do things or relate with other people. It can affect how we see our jobs, how we treat our friends, families, and new people who come into our lives.

Holding on to past grudges and negativity is much like hiking. Picking up useless items along the way add to the weight you’re carrying and slow you down from reaching the top. That is why it is so important for us to let go of all the negativity, bad experiences, and depression that may have happened in the past, and eventually move forward.

So how does one move forward from all the past negativity? How can you let go and forget about all the difficult, negative experiences?

The key in doing so is to train and condition your mind to focus on other things. Focus on the goals you have, the things you want to achieve, and the positive things around you. Negative thoughts and feelings may be affecting you in ways you don’t even notice.

Whenever you start to feel anger or depression that stems from past events, ask yourself: is this helping my current situation? Is this helping me move forward and achieve my goals? Am I gaining anything by thinking about this? Once you realize that you answer no to all these questions, tell yourself that you are letting go. Breathe and let go.

There is something so beautiful about the power or emotional healing and letting go of the past. Once you’ve trained your mind to focus only the good things and never to dwell on the bad, your outlook and attitude towards life will change – for the better.

You’ll relate better to other people, have renewed energy and zest for life, and work with a passion and newfound determination. You’ll start to appreciate the great things you have in your life, and what else it has to offer. You’ll be happy and content, wherever you may be, because inside, you are at peace. Such an outlook and personality will lead you to achieve your goals and accomplish things better than before.

Carl Mathis 2011

Carl Mathis

Carl Mathis' wife passed in December of 2005. He was suddenly left with the pain of losing a loved one, the burden of raising three boys on his own, and the challenge of filling both motherly and fatherly roles. Depression set in. He wanted to quit. But in the midst crying out to God for a way to overcome the pain, it was revealed to him that in the process of helping others overcome, he too would triumph and overcome the obstacles of life. If he would have thrown in the towel in 2005, Mathis would have never published his debut novel, "Life is What You Make It: Build a Better Life for You and Your Family," or his upcoming book, "Life is What You Make It: Seven Steps to Moving Forward." In addition to his most recently published works, he also writes feature stories for The Royal Chronicle, his church’s monthly newsletter. Currently serving as a minister and elder at Holy Ghost Tabernacle Ministries in Goulds, FL, Mathis is no stranger to work in the ministry. Besides teaching bible classes, he spends a significant amount of time volunteering with Shepherds Care, an outreach program designed to help those in need and the homeless. Mathis is also furthering his theological studies through the National Alliances of Progressive Churches. Together with his charisma and determination to see people prosper worldwide, he is certainly one of the chosen vessels for a time such as this—a time where people see no hope and give up on dreams. Carl Mathis seeks to not only give people hope and encouragement for a season, but for a lifetime.

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