In truth, there is no life outside of the present moment. Sooner or later, we must all come to terms with this simple fact.
If you are to awaken fully into the present moment, and remain fundamentally grounded in Presence, then you will have to liberate yourself from entanglement in your own past. It is not the true past. It is the remembered past, which you access through the mind whenever you think. You will also have to free yourself from the imagined future, which is nothing more than the past projected forward. It is simply a fantasy.
The true future does not exist in the world of the mind. The true future unfolds through the doorway of the present moment, just as the true past is accessible through the doorway of the present moment.
To free yourself from the past, there are a number of steps you will have to take.
1. If there are feelings from the past, which have been repressed within you, will have to allow these feelings the opportunity to surface into conscious and responsible expression. You are not trying to get rid of these feelings. You are simply allowing them to express. Everything in existence has a right to exist, including the feelings of need, hurt and anger. If they were denied the right to exist when you were young, because they were too painful then or simply not allowed expression, they will have to be restored into the flow of conscious expression that was once denied them.
2. Forgiveness is a powerful force, which can release the past from you and you from the past. Forgive all those who have hurt you and seek the forgiveness of everyone you have hurt. The forgiveness must be authentic. Sometimes, the pain and the anger at those who have hurt you must be experienced fully, before forgiveness can occur.
3. With some people, healing of the past is necessary before forgiveness and release can truly arise. The good news is that, through the power of awakened Presence, which is a state of Oneness with God, emotional and soul healing is possible in a way that defies all reason and is beyond belief. In working with others, I have so often seen their lives transformed, as we successfully bring to consciousness some traumatic experience from the past, either in this lifetime or some earlier life time, which has been unconsciously projecting into and affecting their current experience of life.
4. To the extent that you maintain yourself in resentment, guilt or blame, you cannot be present, simply because these feelings keep you imprisoned within the past. You must bring these feelings to the surface. Bring them to consciousness in a loving and accepting way. Identify, own, confess and express these feelings, but do not project them onto anyone. Do not believe in them. You are allowing them into consciousness, simply so that they are no longer hidden and so they can no longer control you unconsciously. Feelings of resentment, blame and guilt are an indication that you are not taking responsibility for your life or for yourself. It is easier to blame someone, than to take responsibility for yourself.
5. This next point is the most difficult to understand and is the most easily resisted. If you continue to generate good feelings by remembering happy experiences from the past, you will remain in bondage to the mind and ego forever. Identification with happy memories holds you in the world of the mind and locks in place all those unhappy and painful memories you would rather avoid. This is because the mind is a world of duality, and there is no way to avoid duality, other than by becoming so fully present that Oneness is revealed as the fundamental ground of your existence. It is the same with deriving pleasure from the anticipation of a future event. Only the present moment can fulfill you. It is only when we awaken fully into the present moment that duality is transcended and Oneness is revealed.