What to Let Go of

To fully embrace the possibilities that lie ahead, it's essential to discern what to take with you from the past and what to let go of. 

Starting a New Chapter

Embarking on a new chapter of life can be both exhilarating and daunting at any age. Whether it’s moving to college, starting a new job, moving to a new city, or beginning a new relationship, change offers opportunities for growth, transformation, and reinvention. Even if you’re not going through any particular change, just longing for a new life, to fully embrace the possibilities that lie ahead, it’s essential to discern what to take with you from the past and what to let go of. 


Unfortunately, not all of us have a past or a family that we are proud of, and that’s ok. Your past doesn’t define you! If you had a chaotic upbringing, unstable, non-reliable, non-supportive, emotionally or physically abusive parents who neglected you, just know you are not alone. According to the NSCH – National Survey of Children’s Health, approximately 45% of children aged 0-17 in the United States have experienced at least one ACE. The NSCH is a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that collects information on children’s health and well-being.


The CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the most well-known studies on the subject of evaluating occurrences of potentially traumatic events during childhood, such as abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, or exposure to violence. These experiences CAN have profound and long-lasting effects on children’s health, well-being, and development. Conducted in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this study surveyed over 17,000 adults about their childhood experiences and found a high prevalence of ACEs.

ACE’s Consequences

The study revealed that ACEs are common, with nearly two-thirds of participants reporting at least one ACE, and more than one in five reporting three or more ACEs. Moreover, the study found a strong dose-response relationship between ACEs and negative health outcomes later in life, including chronic diseases, mental health disorders, substance abuse, and interpersonal problems. If you’re part of this sad statistic, don’t feel hopeless. Now that you are aware of what CAN happen, work for it not to, that’s all! Having a bad past is not a curse or a death sentence.

Another Kind of Past

If, on the other hand, you have stable, reliable parents who have always supported, cheered, and been there for you during significant moments of your life, then consider yourself fortunate. If you have always felt safe and comfortable being yourself around your family, then you are very lucky. Don’t ever take it for granted. You’re likely going to miss your folks but, rest assured that they will continue to be there for you, no matter what. Be grateful!

New Life

What is amazing about starting a new life is the chance to start from zero. If you’re moving to college, or another city, none of your past acquaintances are going to be there to judge you. Your parents are not going to be there to compare you with your older version either. You will have the freedom to start a fresh, brand-new you! So, take advantage of that and start being the person you’ve always dreamed of being. Take control and be responsible for all the changes you think might be beneficial.

New You

Being a new you can happen at any age and moment. If you feel the urge to start a new life or to uncover a new, maybe true version of yourself, go for it! It’s never too late. I did a major reconstruction of myself lately, at the age of 50. I’ve also crossed paths with many others who recently went through the same awakening process in their adult lives. People who had similar and much worse traumas than mine and yet are now living purpose-driven, fulfilling, happy lives. Again, your past does not define you! 

What to Take & What to Let Go of

As you’re starting a new chapter, take some time to think about how you envision your new life to be. Make the transition with grace and intention so you can step confidently into your next phase. While packing your stuff, consider what nonmaterial baggage to take with you and what you should let go of. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat now and your past does not define you! Start shaping your future.

Take Your Lessons

Even if you have an ACE 4 or up, you can still have a fulfilling, happy life if you so choose. Reflect on your past and find the lessons and experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today. These lessons are invaluable resources that can guide you as you navigate new challenges and opportunities. Embrace the wisdom gained from your and others’ past mistakes, setbacks, and successes, and carry these insights with you as you embark on your journey.

Let Go of Limiting Beliefs

Especially if you have abusive or controlling parents, release self-doubt, fear, and limiting beliefs that might hold you back from reaching your full potential. You have everything you need right inside you. Be certain you can do anything you put your mind and heart into. Acknowledge that change offers a blank canvas upon which you can paint the life you desire. Challenge negative thought patterns and embrace a mindset of abundance, possibility, and resilience. Trust your capacity to create the life you envision.

You Are Enough

Even if you grew up in a stable, reliable household, the thought of not being enough might be hovering over your head. Just be aware of your thoughts and notice that they’re not you. Reframe them to assure you are enough by just being you! Let your inner light shine, you’re meant to do great things in this life. Never let anybody tell you differently. Always keep your head up and take one baby step at a time to move towards the person you, and only you, want yourself to be.

Take Your Values

If you haven’t taken the time to identify your core values yet, now is the perfect occasion. Your values are the things that are most important to you. The things you stand for no matter the circumstances. They should serve as your compass, guiding your decisions and actions and therefore keeping you in alignment with your true self. Carrying your values with you into your new chapter is the cornerstone of your new life. Let your values guide your choices and priorities.


As the foundation of our moral and ethical conduct, values shape how we perceive the world, interact with others, and prioritize our goals and aspirations. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are often influenced by them even on an unconscious level. Some examples of values are Integrity – acting with honesty, fairness, and sincerity in all dealings and interactions; Compassion – showing empathy, kindness, and understanding towards others, especially those in need; and Respect – treating others with dignity, consideration, and courtesy, regardless of differences or disagreements.

Finding Values

There are so many other values for you to consider. Find 4 or 5 that resonate deeply with you. For instance, you might feel very upset when you see injustice or discrimination. If that’s the case Respect, most likely, is a value of yours. Other examples are wellness, responsibility, courage, authenticity, empathy, equality, growth, communion, love, community, and sustainability. Find the ones for which you will stand in any given situation. Living according to your values is the first step to a fulfilling life.

Let Go of Past Baggage

Starting a fresh life means releasing as many grudges and resentments as possible. Those feelings are the kind that weigh you down and hinder your growth. Holding onto past hurts only perpetuates negative patterns and prevents you from fully embracing the present moment. You cannot change your past but, you can build a new future. Face this change as a freeing opportunity! Give yourself the chance to experience a sense of peace and liberation as you let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore.

The Present is All There is

The past and the future only exist in our minds.  The present moment is all there is. Neither the past nor the future define you, only what you do in the present moment does. So, keep in mind the person you want to become and the life you want to build. Then take one small step every day towards it. Our everyday actions are shaping our future. Just act today as the person you want to become. That’s all you can do to change your reality and the world around you.

Take Your Support System

Love and connection are part of human’s fundamental needs. We were all designed to live in community and to relate with each other. Nurture relationships that uplift, inspire, and support you. If you cannot count on your parents, find your people! Surround yourself with a strong support system of friends, family, mentors, and allies who encourage your growth and celebrate your wins. Lean on them for guidance, encouragement, and companionship as you navigate the uncertainties of change.

Let Go of Comfort Zones

Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown with courage and curiosity. Growth and transformation occur outside of familiar boundaries, so be willing to embrace discomfort and uncertainty as opportunities for learning and expansion. Embrace change as a catalyst for personal and professional development, and approach new experiences with an open mind and a sense of adventure. Be open to making new friends. You never know when a new best friend will come into your life. I’m still making BFFs to this day. 

Final Thoughts

Starting a new chapter in life requires a delicate balance of holding on and letting go. By taking the lessons, values, and support systems that serve you well, and letting go of limiting beliefs, past baggage, and comfort zones the transition can be seamless. Although not always fun, changes make us stronger. Learning how to navigate life’s transitions with grace and resilience is a powerful life skill, as change is the only constant in life. Enjoy the moments of self-discovery and transformation as you become a better version of yourself. 

After all, Good is what makes you feel well!


Learn about Mamma Terra’s values here.


Anna Resende

Anna Resende

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Certified by IIN - Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Every week I send out my newsletter called Mamma’s Tips where I share health and wellness topics, good books, recipes, and more. 

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