I was once part of a community that was riddled with jealousy and envy. Backstabbing, cruelty, and jockeying-for-position was the status quo. That's a terrible place to spend your time and to let your heart exist. It's hurtful. It's damaging.
In the middle of it, the person that the jealousy often revolved around got sick. Really sick. Scary sick. And yet, the jealousies and the in-fighting continued over who was most important. It made me really angry. This person that we claimed to care about was in a hospital bed, unconscious. And the only thing that mattered still was who was #1? No...
Purely out of frustration, I remember tweeting, "If there was ever a time to set our petty jealousies aside, this is it." I meant that. Almost losing someone has a way of changing how you think and how you act and how you feel. And when the person got better, it didn't change my feelings.
I was done with letting those evil emotions rule me. I was done letting them have any sort of control of me, and I turned aside from them. Because they just didn't matter.
There is a saying that goes, "Let go of the past and it will let go of you." Easy to say, hard to do. But... it's also true. I find that I can look back on the people who I'd once been so hurt by, and feel honest sorrow and pity that they are still there. I can offer sincere forgiveness. It doesn't bother me if they think ill of me anymore.
That past doesn't hold me any longer because I made the choice to turn from it. And so, if there is a past that is holding onto you, maybe it's because you are holding onto it. Maybe it's time to stop.