Moving Past The Past

Photo by Lynne Lancaster

There’s nothing new going on in the past.  Logically, we know it.  And yet, it can be so very difficult for us to let go of the past, even when doing so is clearly what we need most to be truly happy.

In order to fully Live in the present and to wisely create our futures, we must allow ourselves to break free from the prison walls of prior experience and let loose the shackles of the past. None of us is the same person we were in the past.  We all change, in one way or another, with every new experience we have in Life.  The same principle applies to the people around us.  As we all change together, our experiences change — whether we like it or not.

Everything changes . . . except the past.  I suppose that’s what makes it so very hard to let go of, sometimes.  The past is, indeed, reliable; and that sense of reliability can make it seem much “safer” to keep holding onto the past than to move forward and get grounded in the present.  Even the present keeps changing – with every single breath that we take.  And change can be frightening.

However, if we are to become all that we are capable of becoming . . . if we are to Live the lives we could still live . . . and if we are to create our better tomorrows, we simply must find the courage to move past the past.

That is not to say that we should try to live every day of our lives like thoroughbreds — racing forward with blinders on, with no regard for what lies behind us.  Some people say that the past means nothing because it does not exist anymore.  That is not entirely correct.  The past means what it means to each of us; and it exists for as long as we hold on to it.  And there are times when remembering the past is good and necessary.

It has been my experience and observation that reflecting upon the past (with as much honesty about it as we can muster) is a very important aspect of developing self-awareness.  We become more self-aware when we take time to try to understand the cycles of our lives, why we feel certain ways about certain things, and why we keep seeing certain situations unfold in our lives, time and time again.  We cannot change anything, if we do not understand it.  To a certain extent, therefore, looking back on the past and trying our best to extract what lessons we can from it is a necessary component of healing and self-realization.

Also, there are certain memories from the past that will always be worth embracing.  Those moments when we were triumphant, against all odds; those moments when we laughed so hard that it brought tears to our eyes; and those moments when we felt loved so completely that it seemed our hearts might burst from the pure joy of it . . . are all moments worth remembering.  The memories of those experiences we treasure most can tell us even more about ourselves than what we have learned from the hardest of lessons.  But, like everything else that lies in the past, even the most beautiful memories are just that – memories.  The actual experiences do not exist anymore.  This is what we must keep in mind, in the here and now.

Try your best, today, to step beyond the past and turn your attention to what is happening in your life at this very moment.  Take in the world around you, as it exists Now.  Be grateful for everything and everyone that is a part of the experience you are having Now.  Embrace this moment because it will soon be the past.

When you do that . . . when you move out of the past and into the present long enough to take a good look at the person you are today, the life you are living today, and the direction you find yourself heading in . . . that is when you will be truly free.  That is when you can start making the kind of choices that create your happiness, bring you joy, and allow you to experience peace.

I’d say that’s something really worth holding on to.  Wouldn’t you?

Live Free!  Be Happy!

© 11/25/2012

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  1. This is a timely post since the holidays are upon us. I find myself living in past holidays when I had family all around. My more recent holidays are so lonely compared to those, but it’s good to be grateful for all I have in the moment. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

    • Thank you, Lori, for reading and taking the time to comment. Your insightful input is always welcomed here. I hope this holiday season brings a ton of joyous new memories for you and that you find yourself completely surrounded by love & light today, and every day. Many Blessings, Sloan

  2. Thanks for following my blog


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