The past is nothing but a burden that doesn’t really exist.
It’s one we carry around on our backs and take with us everywhere we go. From time to time, we open up this garbage bag we call the past and look at all the rotten things inside it, making ourselves feel sick.
We don’t have to do all this, though. We don’t need to carry all our old trash around with us. We can put it aside and leave it to nature, where it belongs and can blend in and vanish. Letting go of your old garbage won’t harm you, and you won’t start making mistakes because of it. On the contrary, carrying all this baggage with you makes you more likely to make mistakes.
In short, you’re a scavenger, defining yourself according to the garbage in your bag, but you inevitably find you stink everywhere you go. The past only becomes a burden when you start carrying it around in the mental and physical equivalent of a garbage bag, so the smell bothers both you and those you care about. So, why does it stink so much? It reeks because what we fed these things in the past do not exist anymore, so they started to rot and smell of decay. That’s why you should abandon your garbage bag.
Let go of all those biased memories and roles that you’ve been cramming into the garbage bag, regardless of whether they seem good or bad. Do not throw the stone at yourself.
In the novel The Last Temptation of Christ, Kazantzakis writes about how Jesus is going to a wedding with Mary at his side when some people tell him that it is against the law to bring such a woman to the wedding. Jesus turns around and replies, “Then the law is against my heart!”
You scream similar things as well:
The past is against my heart! My past acts work against my heart! These definitions of the past, these memories, the obligations, the person I assume I should be, the behavior I think I should show, these habits, my temperaments, my sins, my regrets, and the past I believe is creating an unchangeable future are all causing me distress. You, all of you, work against my heart! I do not need you any longer. I no longer wish to carry you around with me. I do not want you to pollute my current time and place with your stink. This is why I let go of you!
If you do not throw the first stone at yourself, no one else will.