One of the toughest things to do is look at what you have done or has happened to you in the past and look at it objectively, remove the emotion, see it as a lesson, let go and move on.
I have such admiration for those who say they can do this with ease. It is an incredible skill to master an objective mindset and practise the ability to separate from the attached emotion that holds you in the past.
So much teaching out there about the merits of being present in the moment. I persevere but you know what life is like, the memories swagger in when you least expect it.
"I remember when..."
My life was easier, tougher, better, worse"
"I carry this hurt, because..."
"I keep making this same mistake"
"Back then, I was stronger, fatter, fitter, smarter..."
How much of my thoughts can I allow to be about the past?
How much is too much that it will keep me stuck there?
There have been studies on this and it may be exaggerated or underrated but for the majority, the thoughts you have about the past is most of the time...over 90%. That is a serious preoccupation with what you did either yesterday, months or years ago.
If it was up to me it is an easy road to keep travelling over and over again. It is so automatic to keep going over and over old stuff and if your imagination is fired up you could really exaggerate those past events. The good is even better, the bad is cringe worthy and the ugly, well that just stirs up lots of emotion.
Even when what you did in the past is holding you back from enjoying now you go there. It is safe, known and oddly reassuring.
It is up to me to honour the good, the bad and the ugly of past me. Those memories, those past mistakes and brilliant achievements are all part of the puzzle that makes up who I am.
It is also up to me to whittle down the 90% of time I spend thinking in the past, ramp up the thinking about loving the now and be curious about the possibilities of the future.
I read a reassuring metaphor about life and how it is like the workings of a tapestry. You look at the back of a tapestry and the thread is in all directions, while what we see on the other side is a beautiful picture. All the work behind the scenes is creating an intricate masterpiece.
It is up to me to honour my life masterpiece, reflect on the lessons, make every effort to view them as gifts and move on. I like to think of that tapestry when my thoughts wander to the past and be reassured that yes all is ok, I am a work in progress.
"Life just gets curiouser and curiouser".