Islam has infinite value for all

Break Free From the Past

Each moment in life is important and precious. A man’s mistakes are his portals of discovery. The past, present and future are bound together and shape each other. It is true that the present time is crucial. The present is shaped by the past. What kind of ‘present’ you have depends largely on the kind of ‘past’ you had. There may have been many opportunities lost or mistakes made, but those will never return, so you need to let go and go after those opportunities that are constantly presenting themselves to you now. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ 

“Satan plans to incite enmity and hatred among you with intoxicants and gambling and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and regular prayer. Will you not then abstain?” (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:91)

The future is the place you can repair all the damages you have done to your life. When you spend your time regretting the past, you are ignoring and diminishing all that you have achieved because past mistakes are the ones that get all the credit. For every action, there is an equal opposite reaction. We are a part of nature, and that makes us a part of every chain reaction. Celebrate the fact that you have learned your lesson well. Allah says:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Our Lord, give us goodness in this life and goodness in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hellfire.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:201)

Allah knows that humans are imperfect and forgetful, so when we do make mistakes Allah is very quick to accept repentance and forgive us. God describes this life as a test, and people are tested in different ways. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. We all have things in our lives that we are not proud of and would love to erase from our memories but remember those are the things that make us who we are today.

Here are some easy ways to break free from your past and succeed in life:

  1. Focus on your achievements and not on the mistakes
  2. Release emotional stress and cope with a challenge
  3. Write your mistakes, down where you can see them
  4. Using your energy to upgrade rather than repair
  5. Refuse to remain imprisoned by your past
  6. Use your past mistakes to help others
  7. Focus on creating a positive outcome
  8. Do not fuel for growth in the present
  9. Rebuild some aspects of your life
  10. Respect your past mistakes
  11. Do not devalue your achievements
  12. Do not find yourself stuck in the past
  13. Do not rob yourself of your happiness
  14. Do not let your mistakes be your story
  15. Don’t have to waste time on recrimination
  16. Do not ruin your present life with the past
  17. Do not miss the lessons in your past mistakes
  18. Do not erase your present life by staying in the past
  19. Do not find regrets about some of the bad decisions
  20. Don’t in wishing, to go back to change what happened

Everything we see in our life is an accurate reflection of the choices we made in the past. Let’s learn from the past and see it as a priceless life lesson. Each lesson makes us wiser and stronger. Every challenge we came face to face with contributed to the personality we have now. Your mistakes were part of our experience at the time. Look back at them and respect yourself for making those mistakes when you did because you now have the time to make things right. Allah says:

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

“And (do) not be like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those [they] (are) the defiantly disobedient.” (Surah Al-Hashr 59:19)

Everything that is happening around us is neutral. It’s up to us what labels we put on things. If it’s raining outside, it’s not bad or good. It’s just the way it is. If you live in a place where draughts occur often, the mere existence of rain and the possibility of it happening is next a marvel from your point of view. You appreciate it, you see it as the thing with a positive label written with caps locked on.

Ways to Cope When Bad Things Happen:

  • Give all your mistakes, shame, disappointments and failures a name
  • Rip up the mistakes and release yourself from those bondages
  • Turn and realize that your mistakes were not that serious
  • Eject a significant piece of negativity from life
  • Rewind the past and change the patterns
  • Everybody faces more than enough challenges
  • Life means is establish peace and justice in society
  • Finding a way to create value out of events for change 
  • Free ourselves from the pain associated with our memories
  • Utilize past events as springboards for growth into positive events

Your life will often manifest what you put into it. If your goal is to prevent bad things from happening, you must make a change. Unfortunately, life gives us the test first and then teaches us the lessons afterwards. Your mistakes are only part of the learning process. The messages in your past are to be used to build yourself a future that is rich, happy and successful. We only need to find a way to turn that hurt or regret into a catalyst for growth moving forward from today.

Quranic verses about our life, Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  • “And consult them in the matter.” (Quran, 3:159)
  • “And the Hereafter is better for you than the first life.” (Quran 93:4)
  • “you have that day, nor for you will there be any denial.” (Quran 42:47)
  • “The life of this world is merely the enjoyment of delusion.” (Quran 3:185)
  • “I have not created men except that they should serve Me.” (Quran, 51:56)
  • “O, my people! this life of the world is only a (passing) enjoyment, and surely the hereafter is the abode to settle.” (Quran 40:39)

Life is largely a learning experience. It’s not always easy to make changes, but it’s worth it. When your life seems to be full of negativity, use it as fuel. Remember the negative things that happened as a result of your inaction, and use that frustration to make things better next time. If you want things to get better, you must make a commitment. If you aren’t open to making a positive and permanent change, you won’t see any results. Everyone handles and takes proactive steps to improve your life. Allah says:

يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ

“O, my people! Only this, the life (of) the world, (is) enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – it (is the) home, (of) settlement.” (SurahGhafir 40:39)

This life is very meaningful and purposeful to the Believing Muslim, as he realizes that it will determine the outcome and permanent position in the Next Life. Too many times we hold ourselves hostage by not forgiving others and ourselves for past indiscretions. Forgiveness allows you to move ahead freely. Live in the present because that’s what we are alive in/for. The past is gone, we can’t change it, the future is ahead of us, and we can’t predict it, what remains with us is the present. May Allah guide us all to the right path and help us in earning good deeds and may He forgive our past sins.