It is definitely a universal truth that though the past can never be changed, we still think about it constantly. We remember embarrassing moments, or scary events, or instances where we wish we could have should have want to change why didn’t I say that why did I do that and just ARGH!
And while ruminating on the past, and dwelling in the all the coulda woulda should’as seems almost normal at times; to just constantly go back and back and back AND BACK, none of that is going to do anything positive. You’re not going to feel better, and there is no time machine that can fix what has happened.
There is this one really really cool thing we can do about the yesterdays:
we can LEARN FROM THEM.
Learning from yesterday doesn’t change it. But if we can think about what happened, or perhaps what happened to us, and if we can change our mindset from beating ourselves up about it, or dwelling in self-loathing or recrimination, then, in an actual sense, the past can be changed. Or, rather - our perception of the past can change, and that can change everything - it can change our today, and it can change our tomorrows - for the better.
None of us are perfect. We are all going to do things that we regret - maybe hurt someone, or maybe we hurt ourselves. Perhaps we felt humiliated. Or someone wronged us. It is true that while the past can be full of very beautiful and meaningful things, it also carries regrets and pain and a heavy heart.
But with treatment at Shadow Mountain, if we work to look at the past with a new perspective - kind of like getting a new pair of glasses that finally help you see better - see all the beautiful and crisp details that our glorious world offers all around us - then we can put the past where it belongs - BEHIND US - and we can use those new glasses to gain a new perspective on the past that carries less self-loathing and sadness, and more gentleness, wisdom, and self-love.
So while you are learning to put the past behind you and change your perspective, you also will have more time to live for today. There are so many wonderful things that we miss in life happening all around us, at this very moment, if we are stuck in our heads, looking behind us, at all that we cannot ever change.
Life is not always easy. Life can be hard and devastating. But life can also be full of unspeakable love and joy and thrills. And it is our privilege to be able to experience the fullness and beauty around us, and not just focus on the hard, the ugly, the difficult.
So while we are putting the past in perspective, and living for today, and trying to remember to see the joy and the simplicity and the happiness in the every day, there is always tomorrow to think about, too.
I love thinking about tomorrow. Because tomorrow is full of hope and possibility. Tomorrow might contain laughing so hard and contagiously until our bellies hurt. It might entail making new connections and friendships. It might mean taking that leap of faith and pursuing a passion. Tomorrow means making our dreams come true. It means working toward the life we want.
There is no yesterday in tomorrow. There is learning from the past so that our tomorrows and our todays can be filled with more joy and spontaneity and more room for self-love and less self-reproach. There is so much beauty in our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. We can choose to find the scary, the bad, the ugly in it. It’s an easy choice. A tempting choice. BUT:
If we’re brave, and if we want a beautiful and full life, we can live in the moment, and revel in the joy of being here, and of experiencing everything this world has to offer. And if we’re brave, we can leap into tomorrow, and we can hope with everything we have in us so that all of our tomorrows are filled with happiness and a dreams and passions. Our tomorrows will not always be perfect. But there is no doubt that thinking about what we want our tomorrows to entail, versus dwelling on the negatives of yesterday, will bring so much more happiness, and the possibilities opened to us will be wide open. It will allow our hearts to be full of self-love and bright hope. And hope is everything. Hope is living.
So, come with me. Let’s think about our tomorrows. And let’s make them dazzling.