1. You hold on to the past so tightly it squeezes all hope from your future.
2. You squeeze your eyes shut, hold someone's hand, and step into change.
What if the change makes your life more difficult? What if it sucks? What if the memories of the past are so pure, good, and beautiful that the present is nothing more than a dull smudge? We should still step. Step right into the smudge, splash it up, and make it beautiful.
When we hold onto the past, a life that we once had, it prevents us from living. I know people who have let their beautiful past eat them up from the inside, to the point that they are unable to see the brightness behind their sorrow.
I'm sure I've been their before. I'm sure a loved one has had to stand next to me in frustration while I shut my eyes trying to live in the past. Actually, it has really been the opposite. I let a dark past prevent me from fully enjoying the blessed present.
Matthew 5:4 says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
I think the solution lies here. It is OK to mourn something, someone, some place. It is OK to be sad that a good past is gone, or that a bad one existed at all. But mourning is not a perpetual act. It has a start and a finish. It also has a purpose. It is a means to be comforted, not a means to be depressed. Maybe mourning happens more than once, especially for the loss of a someone, but there should be comfort. More importantly, we need to have the hope that the comfort will come.
Look for a hand to hold (spiritually in prayer, and physically in a friend), close your eyes, and take a step.