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Prisoner of the past?

‘I can’t forget’ people sometimes say referring to a negative event in the past they somehow cannot get over or perhaps that they do not want to get over. Unexpected events may change a person’s life to such an extent that s (he) has to think new in terms of how to live and who to include in his/her life. Living your life on totally different terms than those you are used to, is not easy and sometimes one just feels like giving up and giving into all those negative thoughts and patterns of reaction that keep one feeling down and depressed.   

Many if not most of us go through events that change our lives to a greater or less degree, but not everyone go through events that force you to redefine everything from work-life to social life, yes  - in fact the entire life you used to live. Being a prisoner of the past is first and foremost about negative thinking. It is also a lot if not mostly about feelings – feelings that often take the shape of anger, sadness, anxiety and insecurity. Learning from the past is easier said than done, in particular if your feeling surrounding what happened in the past makes future prospects bleak. Yet if you keep reacting in the same negative pattern of thoughts and feelings, clearly you have not learnt from the past. 

Sometimes, the past is a good place to be in – perhaps simply because it represents something familiar and well-known – unlike the uncertain future. However, the past is nowhere to live. Living belongs to the present and the future. Sometimes you feel tempted comparing your own life to that of those around you. You feel jealous and pain as you keep comparing your unlucky life to the seemingly lucky lives of others. You feel that way because you continue cultivating the pain of the past. You forget, that in all your misery you might be the lucky one after all. 

Sometimes, it is hard to forget the past – especially memories that keep you down. We are probably all good at cultivating negative thoughts and although we know it does not help, we keep doing it. So we lull ourselves into thoughts of what could have been, had ‘this’ or ‘that’ not happened. That is probably true but such thoughts are a waste of time and clearly will not bring any added value. Robin S. Sharma once said “Never be a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future. You will never be the same.”

 

 

 

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