Sometimes we allow ourselves to remain in the past, as we are so afraid to live in the present
Every day we remain trapped in the past, countless amazing opportunities pass us by.
Recognising that we are caught in the past is the first step towards freeing ourselves. Usually, the only reason we stay like this is because it feels safe, it is all we have known.
Like a frightened bird in an open cage, frozen with fear, it refuses to acknowledge it can fly whenever it choses to. Similarly we allow ourselves to remain, protected by a fake security, when freedom is a few steps away.
It is so easy to allow unresolved past issues and regrets to impact heavily on the present moment. Wishing we had done things differently, not gotten involved with certain people or frustration and anger surrounding other people’s behaviour towards us can all lead to wallowing in resentment and pain.
If only there was a way to turn back the clock and do things differently.
If we knew then what we know now, everything would work out perfectly.
We could have avoided the trauma, spared ourselves the tears and walked away pain-free to carry on and live a perfectly happy life.
Or so we tell ourselves.
Regardless of whether we pay any attention to it, we are all living in the present right this very moment. Not the past. And not the future.
Learning to live fully present can be one of the most difficult but fulfilling things to master. However, until we do this, all kinds of past issues will cloud our minds.
One of the main reasons we struggle to live in the present moment is that we carry huge amounts of baggage around from past experiences. Once we have been hurt, or something significant has happened, the emotion etches in our minds as a warning to prevent it from happening again in future experiences.
We can find ourselves going over, and over again, certain situations to find some way to make sense of everything in the hope we will not be pained by it once more.
All we are really doing though, is overwhelming our minds with constant negativity and so it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to see things with clarity and put them in perspective.
One of the ways we can combat this is to focus on exactly what is going on in our lives right at this moment. Rationally compare similarities to situations that have hurt us before. When we open our eyes fully, we can see exactly how our lives are and how we are free or can free our selves from perceived danger.
We can then begin to do the work to clear away all the rubbish thoughts, so we can remain with only the good and positive aspects of the situation we are in right now.
Sometimes, we just need to figure out a way to re-programme our thoughts. Repetitive thinking about the same thing will just compound any emotion surrounding it. Give the mind a break, meditate, take a walk. Do whatever it takes to take the mind off the subject. The more we do this, the easier it becomes.
What we often fail to realise is that we are the ones responsible for all of our emotions. No one else has control over them. Yes, other people will be responsible for hurtful actions and insensitive behaviours towards us, however, it is up to us to recognise that how we respond to them is our own decision.
If it is a person in our lives that has hurt us previously, look at how they may have changed, consider all the variables. Is there really a threat that we will be hurt again, or are we just holding on to the pain? If we could potentially be hurt again, as things have not changed, take action to move ourselves away from any imminent danger. Take whatever steps needed, at any time, to protect from those who wish us harm.
When the past has been good and it is a struggle to let go, try not to make the mistake of over-glorifying or over-estimating how things really were. It serves no purpose to cling to happy or sad memories. Accept them for what they were and then let them go.
What ifs, whys and maybes are no use. Not when deliberating the past. Although we can learn from reflection, there comes a time for acceptance. No good will come from constantly picking at painful wounds. Let them heal.
Take off the rose-tints as things were likely not as amazing as how we now imagine, our minds can play tricks. If they were, celebrate and be happy you have experienced some really great times. Know that you will very likely attract far more amazing times now that you have learned more and grown from the experience.
“Good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroevia; Alex Sandra Myles