Monday, June 11, 2012

Don't Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much Of Today



There's an old saying that I like: "The past is a good place to visit, but certainly not a good place to stay". This quote is so very true. We have a tendency to let the past take up too much of our thoughts. We spend so much time looking backward that we prevent ourselves from looking forward.

Here's an analogy I like to use: Imagine trying to walk forward while turning your head over your shoulder to look backwards. You'll stumble, wobble, and quite likely run into something! You're spending so much time looking backwards that you have severely hindered your ability to move forward. Make sense?

Let yourself let go of the past. It doesn't mean you have to forget it or pretend it never happened. But it does mean not allowing yourself to be defined by it. It's called the past for a reason. Look forward...move forward. Who knows what magical possibilities could await if you just allow yourself to see them!!

Do you have problems moving on from the past?

16 comments:

  1. So much like my motto, never look back, keep pushing forward... Although I am aware that we also shouldn't forget the past... Through out the history we can see ourselves re-living same/similar errors! : )

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  2. I once came to the conclusion that the past is like the present's teacher to improve the future. So you need your experience to go on, otherwise you would simply stuck. But you can't go forward by only looking back. It's impossible. But I guess the more experience someone's made, the more he or she lives in the past, and the harder it is for this person to see the future.
    I have such moments when I think back, especially about my grannys and grandpa who passed away. Or I think about the people I went to school with, what they might do now and so on. But foremost I live in the present and for the future. I have dreams that I believe in, and I try to make them come true. I only look back for not making the same mistakes again, but I'm excited about what the future will bring me. And today is tomorrow's past.

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  3. I was stuck in the past this weekend…trying to understand how a relationship fell apart. It took a lot of my energy and left me feeling lost, and sad, and worried for the future. I want to move beyond this space and move confidently into the future that holds so much potential and light. I just need to get moving I guess ;)

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  4. I think the reason people have such a hard time letting go of the past is because it usually involves love. You don't just let that go. I think you just have to find a comfortable way to carry it in your heart and still move forward. It's a balancing act for sure.

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  5. I've definitely come across that quote before. Very apropos for me. I've always struggled with this ... especially if the past leaves deep scars. But I completely agree with your walking forward while looking backward analogy. You'll never have balance or get very far that way. Excellent post.

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  6. I used to have problems moving on from the past. I think for me it helps to look at things about myself from an outsiders perspective. And get to the root of why they bother me. It may take days, months or years for me to get to that point but after I do, it feels so much better.

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  7. I actually think the "stuck in the past" mentality is bigger than love, as another commenter suggested. I think it just mainly has to do with past things that ought to have been different because it affects where you are in the present and how life must progress for the future. Whether that is a romantic mistake or a financial mistake or a mistake with friendships. Your whole life is contingent. But you are correct in saying that it has already happened. Recognize your mistakes and admit them and certainly don't make them again, but move forward.

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  8. I tend to look back too much, and I sometimes allow the past to interfere with the present. I'm getting better about it, though, and I definitely see the power of being in the present and moving forward.

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  9. I love this! I'm really bad at always trying to hold on to the past, even whenever I know that it isn't good for me. Thanks for reminding me to stay in the present! :)

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  10. So very, very true, yet quite difficult to practise in reality. It can be so easy to let go of the past, but there are just some things. However, with time, patience and learning, I'm getting there. Eventually.

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  11. This is so very relevant to how I have been feeling lately.

    You are spot on sir, as you usually are. Sometimes I let the unseen future cripple me as well, and the two just sort of crush me from both sides and I end up not *moving* at all.

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  12. This is me in a nutshell. I can never let go of feelings or situations from the past. I always worry and fret about the tiniest thing and that causes me to miss out on the fun I could be having otherwise. Amazing post! xxx

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  13. I used to look back all the time but eventually decided that I didn't want to do that anymore. I still do at times, but when I realize that I am starting to hold onto the past again, I work on stopping.

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  14. Letting go is something we all deal with... It reminded me of a quote: “One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.” – Michael Cibenko
    Once again an inspirational, hopefull and positive post. Thank you Keith.

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  15. The past has it's usefulness, yes. But being stuck there prevents us from living today. And, the present is all I have. I'm in agreement with you.

    One of my favorite quotes about the past, that puts things in perspective for me:

    "Facing the past as it may surface in my life today doesn't mean I have to stay stuck in it. I can let the healing power of my personal growth to help me feel my old, buried emotions and then put them where they belong---in the past.

    Coming to terms with my history and letting go of it does not deny what happened, it allows me to enjoy today and to move into the future, unencumbered by the weight of ancient emotions." Hope for Today, p. 27

    Thank you for your post!

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  16. Thanks again for commenting, and of course you may follow my blog! I would be delighted.

    I love this post, by the way. Very relevant. And you say it so simply and concisely. (Brevity in significance is truly an art. This is something I try to work on, as I am generally rather tedious in making a point.)

    I find your description of yourself as an existentialist very interesting... As an unapologetic dreamer, what would you say is the most important thing that defines our life? Is it the choosing to believe that dreams are real? (Please forgive the liberty.)

    ~Shannon

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