We are creatures of nostalgia. We feel good when we remember giddy moments from the past. Like the smell of mom’s favorite dish simmering in the oven as a child. Or perhaps those distant memories when you sprawled out on the couch all Saturday on a warm summer day, watching reruns of your favorite cartoon without a care in the world. We like to look back into the past because it feels familiar, like putting on an oversized sweatshirt that always provides you with comfort.
While the past can provide a sense of ease, the past can also meet us with slips of darkness. With the unwanted mistakes, conversations you wish could be redone, actions you would have taken back, and all of the should-haves, would-haves and could-haves that live in your mind.
We tend to get stuck here, in this whirlpool of choices we wish we could alter. It’s easy, once something has passed, to think of all of the possible alternative ways we could have done it differently.
But that will drown you. It will keep you in the past while life is busy strutting onward.
You must remember: the past does not define you. As much as you may convince yourself otherwise, the future welcomes you with an abundant variety of choices—every day, every hour, every waking moment. It is that black and white.
Just because you have not reached that definitive goal to become a signed athlete by age 22, or whatever it may have been, does not mean you are a failure. Just because your previous relationships have ended with hurt and deceit does not mean there isn’t someone waiting to receive the love that your rosy heart can offer. If you did something you feel you can’t ever forgive yourself for, please remember you can, and you will, and you won’t be able to do so unless you take that first step forward.
If you look back for too long, you might miss what lies ahead. Take in your past and let it be gracefully beside you. Be grateful for it, regardless of how you may feel. Because it has gotten you this far, and taught you this much, but the choices and actions you take today, those too will become the path you soon look back at. The past that will shape you into the future you desire. That’s why each day is so important.
You see, moving forward requires you to find peace with what the past has delivered.
You can’t change anything in the past, and that is a constant; however, moving forward is a variable. Just like and ‘x’ in your old math equations. An ‘x’ that can represent almost anything—that’s what a variable is and that is what the future holds.
You have the power to move forward towards the life you want to claim. And I hope you make that variable positive.