“What’s happened in your past is not nearly as important as what is in your future. But if you stay focused on the past, you’ll get stuck where you are. Life is too short to live that way.” … Joel Osteen
If Nelson Mandela had stayed focused on his past he would probably have ended up as a bitter, hostile and violent man instead of the inspiring, peaceful leader whom he became. If Malala Yousafzai had stayed focused on her past she would probably have become a timid, fade-into-the-background, young girl instead of the strong, outspoken defender of children’s right to an education that she has ended up being. Ordinary people … undergoing extraordinary challenges … and in the process looking forward … and becoming the extraordinary people who they came here to be.
How can any of us become something more than an accumulation of our past events if all we think about and focus on are those past experiences? How can we more forward … if we are continually looking back? I don’t try to drive my car forward down the road by looking in the rear-view mirror … that would be … at the very least ~ridiculous … and at its worst ~downright dangerous. So … why do so many people try to navigate their life this way? Who the heck convinced us that an obsession with what-has-been-and-gone is more important than focusing on where-we-want-to-go?
Joel is right: “Life’s too short for that.” You only have to go through one or two major calamities or near misses to understand that one. Having forged onward through my own past … and not very pleasant … experiences I have come to a decision. I have decided that I’m going to a) allow each of these memories to rise up in my awareness, b) have a cup of tea and a wee visit, c) say “Thanks for the lessons”… and then d) politely … but firmly … relegate them to their appropriate place in my life … namely the memory bin. I know that Life has big plans to make my dreams come true and that the more space I clear … the more joy It can deliver. It’s time to dance … time to truly live … and time to march forward into my brighter future.
Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone