We endure so many challenges throughout our lives. Tough decisions, toxic people, waves of emotions, stiff competition, time constraints… but so many of us succumb to an illusive and impotent monster that kills our potential and strangles our progress. Simply called… the past.
Imagine carrying around a backpack full of rocks and each stone represents a past injustice or setback. As that backpack get heavier, being your best, most productive and happiest self becomes impossible. That is, until you’re able to let it go and set yourself free.
Regret is one the hardest human emotions to overcome, since there is nothing we can do to change our past. Dwelling on the past can crush your ambition and is a quick way to deter you from reaching your goals in life.
Your past is your story
It’s like reading the same chapter again and again while wishing you could read the next chapter. If you keep reading that same chapter, slowly the suspense, the thrill and the exhilaration dies. The same story becomes boring after a time. So why does our past keep haunting us so much?
As soon as there’s a trigger, we start fantasizing about what could have been and a domino effect begins inside our mind, that starts building up all those past memories. It’s all voluntary. You are forcefully doing that to yourself. A fleeting memory is not your doing but how you react and think beyond that, certainly is.
You clearly can’t totally eliminate your past. No one can. Unless… you somehow come across those memory eraser flashy thingies from Men in Black. Flashbacks will be there. But whether you give up or have a good cry over that or just shrug it off – makes all the difference.
Easier said than done, right?!
Our past is also a teacher!
We all carry lessons from our past which is an amazing thing. It’s how we learn and grow and move forward. Our past weighs us down by shaping our reality. For example, if you tried to ride a bike once and fell off, then tried it again and skinned your knee, it might be easy to say, “I can’t ride a bike.” Which might be true at the moment, and will be true if you give up right then and there. But if you say, “Perhaps I’m just doing it wrong, I need to keep trying” then eventually you will learn how to ride a bike. As long as you don’t trip up on the fact you fell off the bike in the first place, you’ll be fine!
The human mind can feed on negativity (we have actually trained it over the years to do so). Some of us humans love the feeling of having been victimized. We consistently and actively seek out that feeling of sadness and loneliness and failure.
Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.
So the question you’re probably asking is – how to we get rid of those negative emotions and move forward?
Obviously, forgetting is not an option, but forgiving is. When you keep anger bottled up inside you, it is like trying to give someone else poison but slowly killing yourself. You’re filling up your own backpack with rocks! Whether you are forgiving a person or more importantly yourself, there is grief. This grief that can lead to a mountain of guilt. Living with guilt is like driving on an empty highway with your foot on the brake. Think about that for a minute. You’re at a TOTAL STAND STILL.
It’s tough to remember just the good things so remember both – the good and the bad.
So that when you have to shift your mood, you can use the good things you learned to make you feel better. You can bask in the glory of your triumphs over unpleasant situations. And you can use the bad memories as a lesson, in case you ever have the urge to commit the same mistake again.
Life is meant to be understood backwards but lived forward. And know – that you are not alone. Everyone has a past.
And by all means CRY. But decide that every grief gets only one teary moment. Save your tears. Maybe for onions, fresh wounds and beautiful moments when you see magic in life. When you feel loved, and when you succeed.
It’s time to focus on what’s in front of you and commit to moving forward. Stop dwelling in a pit of despair, whining over lost time and missed opportunities. Release the burden of the past and seize today’s opportunity. It’s time for a transformation and to create your best life!