“Don’t look back, girl,” … “You’re not going that way!”
Celia Mcmahon, Skye: Part 1
“Ten years ago, I had so much going for me and now I have nothing; there is nothing that I currently enjoy doing, not work, going out, nothing. I wish I could go back ten years ago”.
I am pretty sure that EVERYONE can relate to having said something similar at least once in their lives. at some point we have felt a deep desire to return to a past experience or lifestyle, that makes our current situation seem like hell.
However, when we spend too much time looking behind us, precious time is lost for us to live in the present. While others are making plans for the future or learning from past mistakes, you are there busy looking at ruins too late to reconstruct or experiences no longer relevant to the present.
I am not suggesting that it may not be important to look back at a past mistake and learn from it but there is a danger when you are stuck in the past glories of your life. When you can hardly ever say, “I am going to…” but mostly “I was…” or “I did….” When the glory days become all you have to look forward to, then there is no room for creating or experiencing something new, and looking back becomes dangerous.
Can we look back?
One of the most important times to look back is when we need to see how far we have come and how much we have accomplished.Sometimes we do not realize that we are not exactly where we started. it may be hard to properly determine our progress, when we expect so much of ourselves and from life in general. When our minds start playing tricks on us, and we cannot see that we are advancing, because it seems to be taking forever! We need to look back in order to motivate ourselves that we will eventually reach the finish line and cross it. This act of looking back is necessary for our evolution as a person.
We can also learn from past mistakes and not repeat them. This too can be so difficult. We realize that we do not want to make the same mistakes but sometimes we do! The challenge is to look back at the point at which we went wrong and change our reaction or action. The point here is that it can be very necessary to look back at what we have done so that we don’t end up going in circles.
“The only reason time seems to be moving rather fast is that sometimes we’re too busy living in the past.”
― Dominic Riccitello
Living in the Past
“I recently bought a pair of shoes that did not fit properly! I tried it and knew it would not be comfortable but still I took it! Based on the exclamation marks you must realize my frustration at this point.I took the shoes because the size was the size I had always been; so it was the size on the shoe versus how it fit.”
When we live in the past we can never find the right fit in the now.
Depending on who you are there can be a sense of comfort and familiarity in living in the past. You don’t have any nasty surprises because you know what to expect. Your life can become a re-run of your favorite show and no one would be harmed by your doing so. However, there is a big loser and it is you. When you choose to live in the past, you also cannot stand in your present or step forward into your future. Sometimes we get so caught up in thinking how better yesterday was, that we cannot change today in order to have a tomorrow. We fail to appreciate the experiences we have in the now, until we look back at them and wish we had stayed there and be present, just a little longer. We may realize too late that once the present is gone it is gone and thinking about yesterday will not make our today any better. By living in the past we can become trapped there while life and everyone in it passes us by.
If we want to have healthy relationships today, then we have to be present ; we need to place our loved ones at the forefront of our thoughts and not have them as an afterthought- a backdrop easily replaced or forgotten. We need to step out of the past and leave it where it is, so we can stand firmly in our now.