Have you ever wished that you could go back in time? For whatever reason, we all tend to think of the past as the good old days. We like to reminisce about how good or bad life was back then. If only we could turn back the hands of time how different our lives would be today.
If yesteryear is haunting you and you can't stop thinking of past situations, relationships from days gone by and missed opportunities, you probably feel depressed and miserable. It might be time to let the past die. My father likes to say, “It’s gone and what once was will never be again and that's it.” You can't turn back the hands of time. You can only live in the present, in this here and now. My advice is quit punishing yourself with the memories of the past. Even so-called great memories often make you feel stressed because they are long gone.
My intent here is to not discredit the importance of the past. I understand those experiences helped to get us where we are today, whether good or bad. The goal is to encourage anyone who feels they are in a rut to quit reliving the past, stop bringing it up in the here and now. All of us know people, we may even do it ourselves, keep recalling experiences that happened decades ago. It’s as if life started and ended at that moment in time. Unfortunately, that was a crowning accomplishment in their life and they keep reliving the moment over and over. They want that one shining moment to last forever, but it’s long gone no matter the outcome.
I suggest you focus on the present and concentrate on living in the here and now. Be present, here and now. Don't continue to mentally replay and rewind the old movie of your life. Just let it be, the past is dead; don't attempt to resurrect it. You've got the chance to live your life in the present! Why live the past over and over?
In the book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, author Amy Morin advocates that people shouldn’t spend their time dwelling on the past because it can prevent them from reaching their full potential. She offers several ways in which focusing on the past prevents us from being the best that we can be. According to the author, dwelling our thoughts on the past:
1) prevents us from enjoying or taking advantage of opportunities in the present moment. We are so busy looking backward until we can’t appreciate the new blessings before us.
2) contributes to many of our health problems. Research studies have shown that constantly thinking about the past could put us at greater risk for diseases leading to heart problems, cancer, and dementia.
3) hinders our decision-making skills because it creates a state of mental conflict between what we should do now and our experience from the past. It makes it difficult to make decisions based on our current reality.
Sometimes it can be difficult to let the past go. Family, friends and other people in our lives often define us by our past experiences. They refuse to let it go and bring it up every time we see them. These encounters cause us to continue to relive our past repeatedly. It’s time you let them know that you no longer identify yourself with those past experiences from years gone by. The past is the past and you have moved on with your life focused on this very minute, right here, right now! Let them know you “ain’t” what you use to be and not yet what you are destined to become.
Don’t be afraid to live in the present.
While it’s important to reflect on the past, you must direct your thoughts in the future. You can't move forward if constantly looking into the rear-view mirror. I challenge you to try to drive a car or ride a bike while looking in the rear-view mirror without facing ahead. I guarantee it will be extremely difficult to move forward and you’re most likely to wreck. So, quit thinking of the past and begin anticipating the future.
Move forward in your life by thinking of the things in front of you. What do you want your future to be like? What is important to you here and now? Make plans, identify goals, and produce a vision for a better tomorrow. You should be excited about the future and the opportunities lying ahead of you.
You had better get to work, be more proactive and do everything that you can to make this vision a reality. Focus on the future and keep your thoughts positive and alive in your mind- what may be, what may happen, what opportunities exist and so forth. Mother Teresa said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
May the past rest in peace. Your life is in the here and now. Everything that's happening right now is going to produce your future. So, concentrate on the here and now if you want to create a better tomorrow. The here and now is all we have, the only opportunity in which we have the power to take control of our life. Even the future is a mental projection of the mind but we live forever in the here and now.
Written by Dr. RL Kight for Mind Power Solutions.
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