“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone;
and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come.
Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
Inside each one of us there are compartments filled with memories and experiences. Some are happy. Some are heartbreaking. Some are uplifting. Some are depressing. Some we revisit happily. Some we prefer to forget. But no matter how they are defined, these remnants of our past are an important part of us; each moment fuses together with the next to shape the person that we are.
Sometimes there are things in our past that we are not proud of or happy with. We force them to stay dormant, pushing them back down into the foul cavity where they reside. Over time, minute by minute, day by day, year by year, these moments from the past get buried, covered by layer upon layer of denial and avoidance.
But no matter how deep we dig the grave, we cannot truly bury the past; it manages to claw its way back up. It is a living, breathing entity that follows us around until we neutralize it. Instead of facing it, accepting it in all its ghastliness, forgiving our weaknesses and fears, we attempt to run away from our past. And it runs with us.
We can’t erase the past any more than we can escape it. What we can do is confront it. Examine it. Try to understand it. Accept it. And forgive ourselves for parts of it. But we must not dwell in it. Or stay trapped in it. We must move forward. Without it.
There is no greater burden in life than to be carrying the weight of the past on our shoulders, lugging it around like penance. We must learn from it, instead. Every experience we have is a stepping stone towards the future; a gathering of wisdom. A deposit into the ‘bank of life’ that grows and matures over time.
Experiences – good or bad – contribute to the development of our souls. They help us evolve as human beings. The past is there for us to learn from - mistakes and regrets included. Each moment we travel through is a stepping stone to another tomorrow. And another.
I like to think of my own past as a precious compilation of short stories to which I am the female protagonist (sometimes antagonist), carefully documented and preserved; each one filed away as I move onto the next story.
I cannot go back and change anything – and have no desire to do so. And dwelling on moments gone by is futile. Instead, I gather those experiences and process them into higher learning. And hope they help me to grow into a better person.
Then I let those moments go. In peace.
Life unfolds in the present...and that’s where I want to be.