We position our thoughts around three points—the past, the future and the present, which is tightly squeezed in between. A quirk of ours is to orbit around the past. Living in the past, we rehash, recreate and regret. Although the past makes us sad or even mad, it’s often preferable to the future, which usually makes us scared.
There’s no future in living in the past. Furthermore, the past is an insidious thief that steals the present. How much of life are we missing while we cruise around in our time capsule? The past is created from the precious moments that are happening right now.
The knack of successfully dealing with the past is to take it completely out of the hands of the tortuous mind. It’s important to sift through the past to pull out the gems that are buried in the rubble.
One gem is to forgive. This is often difficult because forgiveness is confused with doing it for someone, instead of it being for us. Another difficult gem is to let go and accept that “it was as it was.” A gem is to extract the lessons from the past. Otherwise, Einstein’s definition of insanity describes how we can feel, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
In dwelling on the wrong turns we’ve made, often the right ones are overlooked. By bringing these into the present they contribute to the person we are today. Finally, there’s the powerful gem of memories. We have memories so that we can gather roses in December. Instead of visiting a memory in the past, bring it to you and experience it fully in the present moment.
Don’t let the past steal your present! Remember, today is a gift–that’s why it’s called the present!