As a clinical Psychologist I often have many of my clients mentioning in our sessions, how much they miss someone or something from their past. Which often makes me wonder why can’t we think of the past pain free?
Missing places, events and/or people is part of life, which most of us would consider very normal. But there is a catch to this, it is ok to reminisce on the past, but most importantly is not to live or stay stuck in the past. Living in the past is not valuing your present and diminishing your future. One must try and live in the present and enjoy what life is offering at this very moment. It is to our benefit to cherish every single moment of our present lives. Be present with your family, friends, walks on the beach, watching tv, parties, etc. We all have a responsibility, and that is to find a way to stay grounded in the now and not the yesterday.
But it is usually easier said than done. Sometimes we revisit the past a million trying to change the outcome of the event(s) imagining a different ending. Unfortunately, this is deeply damaging to our inner self and our peace of mind. We can go back and forth in our minds of how we could have made it better or how wonderful it could have been. But the truth of the fact is that the event already happened and there is not much we can do to go back in time to change it.
Let me give you an example: Years ago, a good friend of mine met a wonderful young man at his place of employment. They were both instantly attracted to each other. However, both of them had significant others. Never the less my friend couldn’t stop thinking about him and the other gentleman as well. Regardless of their situation they began the most beautiful intimate friendship one can have. They enjoyed their time together very much like two high school kids. Unfortunately, after a while, life slowly started to pull them apart and each went their own separate ways.
Many years have come and gone and recently I spoke to my friend and during our conversation he told me has never forgotten about his co-worker and often imagines what could have happened between them, had they both been single and available at that time. But he also made it clear that he accepted the past and the beauty of what they had. And that he does not live in the past, they both moved on, but the beautiful memory of their love will always live in their hearts.
As you can see from this example, revisiting the past doesn’t have to be painful or full of regrets. It’s a matter of accepting the choices and outcomes life brings to you. They lived a beautiful love affair, but destiny had other plans for them. Today they are both with someone else, but for them the past only brings a smile to their faces and not tears.
Now is the time to put to the test all that you have learned in the past and let those lessons enrich the present allowing you to make better choices and use time more wisely. We all need to see life under a new light, so one can allow new perspectives to be born. As a result, by living the present one has a better opportunity to enjoy all the little things life has to offer. Remember, there is only one life to live, and it is up to everyone to make it happen and achieve the happiness and peace in everything that you are doing and experiencing right now. And no matter what life throws at you or how overwhelming the situation may be, stay focused, strong & positive. Your present is the knowledge of the past and your future is a well lived present.
By: Danilo Dominguez