Don’t let your past define your future.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
― Bil Keane
It’s Thursday tomorrow and for someone who is active in social media, Thursdays are special because it’s “Throwback Thursday”. You’re probably thinking how the hell does a 36 year-old father of three know about this? Well, I love social media and if you are using it everyday, you can’t help but absorb all the gimmicks that these young people come up with. Don’t get me started on “Flashback Friday”.
I’ve wanted to take part with this Throwback Thursday craze for quite sometime now but I can’t seem to get a decent enough picture of myself from a couple of years back that I’d be willing to put my reputation on the line. I’m looking for a picture that will show me with more hair and lean figure just to show everyone how I looked like before I went with the whole “daddy look” thing.
Some of us love nostalgia. We love looking back and recalling our fondest memories of college life, teenage years and the friends we had back in the day. It’s a real treat to go back even for a moment to escape our busy schedules and toxic environments called offices.
The past is indeed a good place to visit from time to time but sadly, most people choose not only to visit, but even stay stuck in the past. It can be because of a past failure, a traumatic experience, or a misunderstanding with a loved one. Whatever it is, getting stuck in the past is not healthy because it will hold you back from happiness and success.
Everyday is a new day and each new day presents different opportunities that we can take advantage of. You can continue living in the past by holding on to old grudges or regret. At some point, you need to learn to let it go and move forward. The good news is, you always have the chance to start over.
Think of yourself as a computer. Over time, a computer can accumulate several problems because of the files we save in it and the tremendous amount of data it has to process. At some point, it can hang, freeze, or even crash. What do you normally do in such instances? You press the reset button.
Like a computer, we too have the option to push the reset button to make ourselves function much better and redo all the mistakes we’ve made. Past errors are no longer relevant because you are starting again with a clean slate.
Don’t Let Your Past Define You
Some people are born resilient which means they can easily bounce back and recover from whatever mishaps they’ve gone through. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with the same amount of resilience. Some are more emotional and have difficulty moving forward. They let their past define who they are and turns a blind eye on the benefits that change can bring.
Your past does not define you. Whatever you were before is not who you are now and only you have the power to remove the stigma of the past if you choose to.
My childhood friends are my best example. When we were teenagers, they’ve tried all the vices available at their disposal. They drank, they smoked and at some point even tried using drugs and they won;t deny that even if you ask them now but they didn’t let this stage of their lives define them. Years after, they outgrew these bad vices and some of them are now working abroad and raising their own families.
Everyone is capable of change. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if you were a bad person before that you will forever be one. But then again, that all depends on you. If you let your past dominate your thinking, you will always look at yourself as a bad person.
Forgive (Not Necessarily Forget)
My daughters have watched the movie Frozen for a dozen times or more and with the repetitiveness, I’ve almost memorized the lyrics of its theme song, Let It Go. It’s such a great song and it’s obvious why kids love it but looking beyond the melody, the words Let It Go, for me, is very powerful in itself because most of us have difficulty doing so.
Whether it’s that bully who tormented you back in high school or an ex-boyfriend who cheated on you, at some point, you need to learn to forgive and eventually, forget. Forgiveness is not only granted towards other people. While you’re at it, try to forgive yourself for past mistakes and failures too because this is the only way you can move forward. You can expect to become happy and successful if you are holding bitterness inside you.
Replace All the Negatives from Your Past
One of the ways to help you move forward is to replace everything negative from your past. It could be habits, beliefs, and even people. It won’t be easy but you’re gonna have to get rid of everything that holds you back.
If you were addicted to alcohol before, you have to leave that behind. Go to therapy and get better. Find a new habit. If your friends are bad influences, you have to get rid of them too because they will pull you down if you don’t. You have to be with people who breathes positivity.
Are you letting your past keep you from being happy? Are you still holding on to ill feelings toward others? How long will you keep staying in the past instead of moving on?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or feedback below.
Originally published at lifeshowyouliveit.com on December 10, 2014.
Originally published at medium.com