Lately, when speaking with people, they have seemed to have tremendous trouble letting go of the things that have occurred previously in their lives. What troubles them, specifically, will often times vary; however there are a few common themes among their words:
1. It has happened before the now.
2. It is effecting their now.
While I cannot address every possible trauma, decision, disorder, or otherwise specifically without experience, what I CAN address are those two themes and the general outline for beginning to move forward with your eyes to the front. Some of my friends may even recognize the very words written here as those they have heard come from my mouth.
1. Stop Looking Backwards.
Go take a walk outside. Find your nearest sidewalk and begin moving your feet forward, watching where you walk. You can even record your speed, if you’d like. Now turn around and return to the point where you began walking, only looking back behind you. It’s tremendously more difficult and time consuming to make it to your goal when looking backwards, isn’t it?
Mentally and emotionally focusing on what has happened “behind” you in your past is the same, in concept. The more you try and move forward while focusing on before, the longer it will take you to reach those life goals you have set for yourself. Worse, you could wind up stumbling off your path, and you’ll never find it again if your head is turned too far to look for it.
2. Prioritize What Effects You.
Many times, when people speak to me about what troubles them (especially in relation to this article), it is many, many, little things. Small regrets and poor decisions that have added up until it gives the illusion of being one big issue. You have to remember, though…it isn’t one big issue. Its many small ones. However, all of your focus being taken away by those many small issues makes you unable to focus on the actual big issues in the now.
Chances are, you have more than enough on your plate you could worry about at this very moment that you do not need to dig down and find other concerns. Focus on the task at hand, not the task that has already fallen out of your hand and rolled away on the floor.
To start ridding yourself of this excess, start identifying and target small issues from before and either resolving them, or coming to terms that they can’t be resolved and releasing them from you. Prioritize what would ease the biggest load from your shoulders and act on it. In time, you’ll find a mind and soul with a much more peaceful atmosphere. Guilt is a cancer. You must eradicate it because you aren’t changing the past.
3. Realize That There Are No Retries, So Stop Wasting Away on the Past.
Great SCOTT! This may come as a revelation to some folks but the days of hitting 88mph and going back in time to fix things are not yet here (though the self tightening Nikes are, and only for a cool $28,000 https://goo.gl/2taHPX). In other words, you can’t take a time machine to your past and change a thing. Why dwell?
Each and every single day that passes in our lives comes with an absolute “no refund” policy. Every day that begins and ends will never be gotten back, never get a retry, never be seen again once it is gone. Why waste each precious day with regret over a day or days that weren’t good? Move on. Leave the bad ones behind, and cherish the good ones. Instead of telling yourself to think about the bad before, focus on making the good after. Its about the FUTURE.
4. Create A Battle Plan for YOU.
I have not seen every difficulty that mankind can experience, thankfully. As such, I cannot address every single one with real world experience. What I CAN tell you is that if there is a specific toxicity that has ended but is still affecting your now and your future, it is so incredibly important to sit down and work on healing those wounds inside you and moving forward. Whether researching and reading material from others online that have dealt with it and communicating with them to see how they moved past those haunting times, seeking counselling (in which, I will note, there is no shame in whatsoever), or developing your own battle plan, you MUST eradicate that cancer from your spirit and begin the process of repairing it if you want a happier, full life.
Everyone, I challenge you to go into a graveyard of people you have never met and point out the ones who lulled on the regret of their pasts and who grabbed life by the balls and focused on having the best life they can. Try it. Then you will realize that the destination is the same, and what is important is the journey there. It’s about quality of life and your own personal happiness. I know you can do it, but you have to know as well.