Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Mark Anthony, author of Never Letting Go and the new Evidence of Eternity.

I was in New York City on a book signing tour where I was honored to visit the 9/11 Memorial. Watching the somber yet elegant memorial with its immense waterfalls flowing into the void was serene, yet I felt another emotion surge through me—anger.

I was angry that such enormous pain was inflicted upon so many innocent people by cruel, hateful fanatics—I felt powerless. And then it dawned on me: that’s the key to healing from the past—realizing that I was powerless to change it.

How many times do you feel anchored to the chains of the past? Does your mind replay a traumatic event over and over to the point that you feel no escape from the pain? Do you find yourself looking to someone else for approval or validation?

You may not even realize how much the past has a grip over your feelings in the present and your view of tomorrow. Recently, I met a woman who told me she didn’t go to her high school reunions because the “in” crowd never accepted or even acknowledged her. She admitted this made her feel badly about herself.

I told her, “You are powerless to change their behavior.”

“I never thought of it that way, Mark. Hearing that makes me feel better.”

Do you focus on events in your past that you feel “robbed” you of your validation, self-esteem, or even happiness? Were you treated rudely or cruelly by someone? Maybe it was a family member, friend, classmate, co-worker, boss, or stranger.

These negative emotions and experiences are intensified when linked to the death of a loved one. How many times have you wished you could go back in time and save someone’s life?

Given the opportunity, everyone would go back in time to save the life of a loved one. With the ability to time travel you could change something about your childhood, career, or relationship. You may even want to bring last Saturday night’s winning lottery numbers. As long as you’re swinging in to save the day you might as well become a millionaire—right?

Sounds great! But unless your eccentric genius neighbor Dr. Brown invites you to go for a spin in his DeLorean with its newly upgraded flux capacitor, it’s impossible to change the past.

On a serious note, people tend to feel responsibility for the terrible things that have happened to them, whether or not they were at fault. This self-imposed burden of responsibility triggers anger, resentment, guilt, and depression, all of which result in low self-esteem.

Realizing how powerless you are can empower your emotional healing.

When the darkness of negativity overwhelms you as your mind replays the death of a loved one, or some other trauma from your past, look to the Light of powerlessness.

Tell yourself:
“I am powerless to change the fact my loved one died.”
“I am powerless to change the past.”
“I am powerless to change his/her behavior.”

Accepting you are powerless to change the past or control the behavior of those who’ve wronged you lifts the weight of responsibility from your heart. This leads to accepting that you are the only one responsible for your actions and feelings. It also helps you understand that, while you cannot change the past, you must learn from it in order to grow personally.

By accepting that you have no power to change the past, you are now empowered to control the present. The road to healing is not an express lane but rather a long and winding road through many peaks, valleys, and detours, but ultimately you’re the one in the driver’s seat.

You may be powerless over yesterday but you are empowered today for creating a better tomorrow.

Our thanks to Mark for his guest post! For more from Mark Anthony, read his article “Dispelling the Superstition and Fear of Communicating with Our Loved Ones in Spirit.”

Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...