written by: Kathy Best CNT, CRRC, ACCR, PSDC, August 12, 2019
If you find yourself constantly revisiting “the good old days,” or having a pity party over the bad choices you made, the wounds and trauma you’ve endured, or what might have been if only – gently remind yourself that it’s all history. You can’t change it, you can’t get it back, but you can learn from it and you can use what you’ve learned to make your present more meaningful & enjoyable and your future a place of peace, purpose, prosperity, and fulfillment. Next time you get the urge or find yourself drifting away from the present moment, observe what’s keeping you tethered to the past. Make a conscious effort to objectively examine the stories your mind continues to replay and understand the purpose or meaning behind your desire or persistence to relive the past over and over.
Practice forgiving yourself and others for past mistakes, failures, or transgressions. Regardless of appearances everyone is doing the best that they can do given their own perceived stories, failures, history, wounds, and transgressions. If you’ve suffered some horrific traumas or torture you may need to seek professional help to process the experiences and the emotions around them, but find someone that can give you a different perspective, objective insights, and tools to move through the negative emotions and into a place of acceptance, or neutrality. The mind also has a tendency to embellish or exaggerate the past and make the mental movies much better or much worse than the actual events. I’m not saying that bad, horrible things are not terrible experiences, but the more you invest your attention and your emotions in your beliefs about how these events define you, the more your mind tries to do what it thinks you want it to do and creates its own extra footage for those feature films to support the beliefs and emotions you emphasize from your experiences. You are in essence recreating your past in your mind, but turning a documentary into a horror movie, or a fantasy and keeping your body and mind stuck in a self-destructive, emotional roller coaster that can create dis-ease in every area of your life.
Stop comparing your current situation to your past or to the situation of other people around you. Everyone has their own baggage, misconceptions, childhood programming, and path to redemption. Work on seeing your connection to all life with compassion and appreciation instead of competition and dissatisfaction. Judgement, contempt, and jealousy aren’t pretty colors on anyone and they only serve to expand and perpetuate more experiences that promote those same feelings. By adopting an attitude of gratitude for all of the opportunities to learn, grow, and change that have brought you to where you are you become more open and prepared to pursue new opportunities as you look forward to a future of unlimited potential.
Refocus your attention on your present. Each new moment of your present life is the only moment you can affect, change, and impact. Right now is all you have and the present is the only place you can create happiness, peace, love, and harmony. This moment has the power to totally transform your tomorrow and your future, so make a conscious effort to be present to everything that is available to you right now. Make a conscious effort to accept what is and know that what is does not have to be what will be forever. It’s up to you to decide what you want in your life, how you want to live, what you want to experience, and then set about creating it. It begins in your mind and your heart where you use the emotions you want to experience more often to create those feelings in your body right now, regardless of what your external environment looks like. You have a universe of life, power, and creation within, so use it to its fullest to appreciate this moment and reinvent your tomorrow and your future.
For many people this is not a task that can be accomplished alone. You really need someone with a caring, observant attitude and an experience in getting to the root of sabotaging behaviors to keep you accountable and on track without further damaging your psyche. You can absolutely cure yourself of this behavior, but without someone to witness, reflect back, offer insight, and help guide you to your own discoveries and processes for healing the road can often be long and lonely. The most important and wisest investment you can make is in your own personal healing and development. It could potentially save you thousands in future lost wages, medical expenses, long-term pharmaceutical costs, failed relationships, and unfulfilled potential.