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Many people agree that the past should be forgotten, and we should focus on the present and the future. However, it’s easier said than done. Some traumatic and hurtful situations are not easy to let go because of their unprecedented nature. Many times, we think about what could have been, and hot tears just roll down the check. Sometimes, it can be because of the loss of a significant other.
You have been looking forward to building a future together with the person. She was the woman of your dreams. You have been waiting to have someone like her in your life. Eventually, you found her, and you were already planning forever with her. Then, out of nowhere, she was involved in this ghastly accident that took her away from you. Now, you are wondering how life could have been so cruel. You feel unlucky and depressed. The depression and dejection have made it hard for you to give any other person a chance to win your heart.
Indeed, a story such as this is tragic. If it were a Hollywood movie, you could have been shedding tears by now. We all have things like
this in our life. Of course, the intensity and situation are not the same. Nonetheless, we all need healing. We all need to let go of the past and focus on the present while looking forward to the future. This book will equip you with the tools you need on this new journey.
Chapter 1: The Past: It's Gone Forever
In the words of Chuck Palahniuk, “Your past is just a story. And once you realize this, it has no power over you.” These words were spoken some years ago. However, they are still as potent and relevant as the first time they were spoken. If only many people realized this simple but extremely powerful truth, life would have been easier for them. We would have had more individuals that are less cranky and frustrated in the world.
Some people struggle to overcome their past demons. For instance, bad experience from their past relationships often hinder them from building robust and happy relationships in the future. They built a mental wall and find it difficult to trust another person or commit into another relationship. Letting past experiences interfere with our future is detrimental to our growth and mental wellbeing. This chapter will explore some vital things about the past you need to know.
Life is a Journey
This statement might sound like a cliché, but it’s not. You have to realize that life is a journey. In fact, it is an experience we are all having for the first and last time. In other words, no one has been to this world before that is now having another opportunity to live it all over again. Indeed, there are people who are experienced in this world. However, their experiences are all parts of their journey in life.
Life is a progressive journey that begins at conception and ends in death. It is like a movie. However, this movie is your story. You are supposed to play the roles of both a director and an actor in this movie. Playing the role of a director implies that you are in charge of your life. You make plans and set goals that give your life a direction and a sense of purpose. When you are a director in the story of your life, you will take responsibility for your life.
You will not blame others for your predicament. Besides, you will not believe that your success and happiness depends on external factors, including the actions of others. Psychologists refer to this mindset as an internal locus of control. No one will give you the role of a director in your life. You can choose to take it or give it to other Pfactors, including your past. Unfortunately, many people have allowed their past mistakes to dictate their current state.
The role of an actor in the story of your life is not optional. You will play that part whether you like it or not. Even your inactions are still part of acting in that position. In summary, everyone is an actor, but not everyone is a director in the movie of their lives. Your journey in life does not end until the day you have your last breath.
Therefore, you can choose to make the earlier part of the journey (your past) the summary of your story or you can choose to rewrite the script. As long as you are still alive, you still have the right and opportunity to “edit” the script of your story. You can still come out on the other side with pride regardless of what your past looks like.
The Past is an Experience
Life is an experience that is bitter sometimes and pleasant on some occasions. One of the reasons some people find it difficult to let go of the past and start over is that they don’t expect life to be cruel and unpleasant. Well, you have been educated wrongly. Life is like a coin with two sides. There are days when you’ll experience so much happiness and have reasons to smile. However, there will also be days when you don’t want to talk to anyone because you are sad.
We all wish to have things going our way all the time. Nonetheless, life has other plans. For some people, they will have many pleasant events occurring in their lives in the early parts of it but start experiencing the other side of life in the latter period. However, some people have a lot of challenges earlier in life but have better experiences later. This pattern does not mean that you don’t have control over the events that occur in your life.
Your actions and inactions are what produce some situations you experience. However, there are events in your life you cannot control. However, you need to see every situation as an experience. In other words, you have to treat the events occurring in your life as a learning curve. There are cases when something bad happens to you because of your mistake. However, there are times it is because of the negligence or wickedness of others.
Regardless of the source of your frustration, you must take it as an opportunity to learn something new. When you don’t see life as a learning curve, you will keep nagging yourself about your failures and mistakes. You will keep wishing you didn’t go to that party or visit that person, or made that decision. Indeed, things could have been different. Nevertheless, the deed has been done.
So, the only way you can make the best out of your life is to keep the lessons of your past but never keep the emotions. In other words, remember why you failed but stop seeing yourself as a failure because you have a poor performance in the past. If you keep seeing things that way, you will never be able to prepare for future tests.