I wonder how many of us have said the phrase : “Come on,let it go”.  Personally, I have probably said this thousands of times. But when I do, a story comes to mind that I think will help you understand how hard it can be for some of us to leave the past behind. 

‘The Chained Elephant‘ by Jorge Bucay is the story of a circus elephant who was constantly chained to a post in between performances. Although the powerful elephant was capable of breaking the chains that imprisoned its legs and run away from the circus stage, the elephant never did.

When you hear ‘ just let go of the past‘, you may feel a bit like this circus elephant.  

It is important to note that the past refers to all of the facts that have ever happened since the present moment and can be recalled by memories. In other words, we receive memories through our senses (body) that are related to our emotions. Then, our nerve cells (brain) encodes, stores, and retrieves them. As a result of this process, some of these memories are emotionally strong enough to be relived in our present life. For example, the elephant in the story was this huge animal that was in chains since he was very small. All his past has been held by memories of helpless escapes when he was too small to break the chains. Thus the elephant lived captive for his entire life.

In contrast, as human beings we retain the potential to integrate the past and focus on the present, and can therefore work towards “leaving the past behind” where we need to.  Here are some helpful tips:

Self care/self compassion 

Letting the past go is a difficult pathway, especially when you have experienced traumatic events. Time and self-care are the major priorities to help you move forward with your life. For example, starting the day with a warm shower and preparing a breakfast for yourself, may cause a feeling of refreshment and help you be present focused. Simple morning routines with self-compassion will motivate you for taking your life back.

Doing activities 

Having a hobby helps you to be healthy and present focused. Hobbies can help you reduce emotional responses of anxiety or anger when you enjoy your favorite activity consistently. In addition, group activities like painting or yoga classes create a sense of not being isolated by boosting your social networking.


Volunteering in your community can help you to feel important and useful. It can also provide you the opportunity to evaluate your past experiences when you see other people who need your support. Remember, your past can be a wise example to another person.

As you seek to leave the past behind, you may encounter roadblocks and get stuck  despite your best efforts. This is a good time to consider seeking professional support. A safe and confidential space to share your thoughts and feelings can help you release yourself from the pain of the past and live more of your life in the ”here and now”. We can help you deal with your memories and achieve personal growth and well-being. If your looking for help to “leave the past behind” please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.





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Kerasia Tzitzira – Masters in Clinical Psychology, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)(M.A.,R.P. Qual.)
Kerasia Tzitzira

Kerasia is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). She is also a certified Gestalt Psychotherapist with the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT). 

Kerasia graduated with both her Bachelor and Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florence in Italy. Her love for art inspired her to train in Expressive Art Therapy from the European Research Center for Expressive Therapies (C.R.E.T.E) in Italy. After graduating, Kerasia returned to her home in Greece where she worked as a licensed Psychologist in multiple facilities with adults and youth and continued her studies in Gestalt Psychotherapy. 

Kerasia came to settle in Canada in 2019. She is inspired by the challenges she has faced in coming to her new home country and is eager to draw from her experience to help others facing their own life challenges. Her focus with clients is to create a safe space where they can explore their uniqueness through ‘connection’ and ‘creativity’ for their personal growth. Her approach includes gestalt therapy techniques, expressive art therapy, solution-focused therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. 

In her spare time, Kerasia enjoys travel, reading, swimming, painting and spending quality time with friends.