Ask A Kabbalist

Letting Go of the Past


How do I learn to let go of my past mistakes and those of others and truly move on? I try, but I find myself focused on the hurt others have caused me and use it to hurt them the same way they hurt me. How do I let it go? ~KL


It’s human nature to hold onto guilt, grudges and the past. However, Kabbalah teaches that we are on this planet to transform our nature, not to be slaves to it. Our universe is one of cause and effect. That means that everything that happens in our lives is a direct result of a previous action/statement, whether in this lifetime or another. And that also means that if we want to change something in our lives, only we have the power to do it. We need to change the ‘causes’ so that the ‘effects’ will be different.

Each time we allow a past action or statement to dictate our thoughts, feelings or actions, we become an effect of the past. We allow the other person or situation to be the cause. NO ONE and NO THING deserves that kind of power over us. In your situation, you’re allowing your past mistakes to dictate your present and future. You’re allowing others’ actions to make you think, feel, and act this way or that. You’re giving the keys to the car of your life to others. You are the only one meant to drive that car!

So, the first step to letting go is the understanding that by holding onto the past, no matter what it is, is perpetuating the darkness. While your mistake may have taken only a moment, the fact that you are still holding onto it means that the darkness hasn’t stopped. Kabbalah teaches that if you can leave the past behind and focus instead on what you can do now, you can actually eliminate the impact of the past. And the kabbalists knew that our willpower isn’t always as strong as we’d like it to be, so they provided us with tools to give us the strength to let go of the past, to move on from past hurts, in other words - to overcome our nature:

  • Name 58 from the 72 Names of God is for letting go. Simply looking at or picturing those 3 Aramaic letters in your head can bestow upon your soul the spiritual ability to let go.

72 Name #58

  • Scanning Zohar – any section – fills your spiritual tank with more wherewithal for the effort it takes to resist our natural programming.
  • Sharing – Kabbalah teaches that when we get in our heads and can’t take it anymore, that’s when we need to start giving. Sharing connects us to our true purpose for coming to the world – to transform our desire to receive for the self alone into one of sharing.


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