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Are you living with yesterday's pain or joy for today and tomorrow

If we are to be completely honest, which I always recommend, we can all admit to having spent time living in the past.  Whether it be for moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years at at time, we’ve all done it.

“So what’s the big deal if we’ve all done it?” I hear you ask.

The big deal lies in whether f not your past causes you to struggle to move forward and or rise above life challenges that come your way.

Maybe you’ve gone from having plenty of money and a big house to living from paycheck to paycheck in a small apartment. Or perhaps you’ve experienced the loss of a relationship that devastated you and you’ve been able to bounce back and continue to live the life of your dreams.

If you find yourself feeling stuck looking back wistfully to times gone by, and wishing things could have remained “that way,” you’re most likely living in the past.

If you notice you still often suffer a lot of emotional pain over an
upsetting event you experienced long ago, you might very well be stuck in history and unable to find a way to move forward.

“What’s so bad about living in the past?” you ask? The fact that doing so means the present — your reality — is zooming on by without you in the driver’s seat, meaning you’re not moving forward towards your life aspirations.

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You are living in the past if:

  • You have daily thoughts about some aspect of how your life used to be. I’m not talking about fleeting momentarily flashes.  It’s those times when you are so drawn into the past for minutes and hours at a time that you lose track of what you are meant to be doing.  You know those moments when someone has to tap you gently on the shoulder or say your name several times to grab your attention and bring you back into the present moment. Maybe you call it “nostalgia” or simple yearnings for what your life was like before. This is not the same as daily reflection that is an exceptionally powerful spiritual practice.  It ceases to be that when instead of empowering you, disempowers you and gets in the way of you moving forward.
  • You try to sleep as much as possible – either so you can dream about earlier years or to avoid living in the truth of your present reality. When you sleep at night, your dreams become fantasies about how your life was before and you look forward to those dreams as an escape from whatever circumstance you find yourself in so choose to spend more time than is needed sleeping.
  • You spend a lot of time on your phone or the computer. Being on phone or the computer keeps you “busy” and draws your attention from the root cause of the challenges, changes and issues you are currently facing.  You gladly give all you attention to these activities so you don’t have to or “don’t have time” to think about how your life has changed and is in the process of changing – be default.
  • You engage in escapism using otherwise normal activities, including but not limited to reading, cleaning, or even drinking alcohol, to keep you overly occupied. The hours in the day are never enough and even if you were to magic yourself some extra hours, you know in your heart that they too will be quickly filled to overflowing.  You are constantly in motion, doing one thing or another so you don’t have to face your life as it is now. You’re, more likely than not, constantly exhausted and you would choose that any day over facing and addressing your present life circumstances. 
  • You’re in denial about your current living situation. Why?  Because, per the previous point, you have keep yourself too busy to face it, let alone acknowledge, accept and address it.  What is it for you?  Maybe you’re finding it hard to accept that you no longer have a partner or live in the home you thought you would for the rest of your life. Maybe you don’t want to rearrange the furniture or get rid of some things you don’t use because they remind you of a person who’s no longer in your life. Maybe the “dream job” abruptly came to an end.

Whatever it is, if you see any of these 5 behaviours in you and how you live your life, you’re spending too much time living in the past. 

Living in the past robs you of the life you truly deserve. Today, you have the opportunity to re-state your life goals to yourself and then begin living out your dreams in the here and now.

Choose the life you want to live. Make decisions and choose to stick with them. Live a life that you’ve designed and avoid living life by default.

Be bold. Choose YOU. Design a much more satisfying and joyous life and create it through intentional living rather than leaving it to chance alone. You’ll be glad you did

Grab this quick action guide to reconnect with yourself and start living a joyous and fulfilling life in the present NOW.