I’ve made my share of mistakes in life. I’ve said the wrong thing, done the wrong thing. I’ve acted selfishly. I’ve had one too many drinks before and thanked the lord I woke up safely in my home. I’ve blown up in anger, I’ve missed opportunities, I have been stubborn once or twice in my past.
I have embarrassed myself like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve tripped, I’ve fallen, I’ve realized I’ve said too much when it was too late to take it back. I’ve had panic attacks in public, and I have cried in a chair all by my lonesome in a nearly packed Starbucks.
I have been hurt. I’ve trusted the wrong people. I’ve been absolutely crushed by people I invested in. I’ve spent hours trying to understand how any decent human being could treat me in such a way.
But to be honest, I haven’t thought about any of that in a very, very, long time.
Because that’s all in the past, and I don’t live there. What purpose would it serve me to think of it, to revisit it over and over again?
I’ve learned from every mistake, every hurt, every failure. I carry the lesson with me, not the pain.
So often lately I find myself in contact with people who are very much stuck in the past. They just can’t get over that one, or sometimes the many events that have been negative experiences for them. The friend who lied, the boyfriend who left them, the opportunity they missed. They can’t let it go.
In order to move forward, you have to be facing that direction. No one walks down the sidewalk with their head turned around backwards. Why would you operate in such a way in your mind?
The past can be such a distraction from what really matters, which is the here and now. That’s all we really have. And if you are too busy dwelling on things that have already happened, you are bound to miss the precious seconds passing by. Moments meant to be cherished and appreciated. You will miss that if you’re stuck.
I think a lot of people get stuck in their past because they are still looking for answers. If only it were so easy. Those black-and-white answers are not so readily available in life, and you may never find the one you are looking for.
But don’t be discouraged, because there is one thing you can always find: Meaning. What you have been through, the hurt and the pain and the agony, can mean something. But that’s up to you, to attach a purpose to those negative experiences. You might never be able to say “This happened because…” , but maybe you could say “because of this the positive change I made was…” . That’s your meaning right there.
I know it’s easier said than done, I know this. That is the rule for most things. These are the emotional growing pains, even positive change can be a painful process. But you have every right to live a happy life.
You deserve to move on.
Onward and upward !