“To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the future. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. You can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Love this! I think it’s the best way to utilize your past… reflect upon it… learn from it… use it as a guidepost. Just don’t ever let yourself stay there or be drawn back into it. Instead, use it for what it was meant to be used for, a teaching tool. If you do this one thing, you gain control over your reactions to all events in your life, both past and present, instead of allowing them to control you. Now I’m not saying it’s always easy. I struggle with this over certain instances myself. Yet, it is very empowering to know you’ll always react as you choose to react, versus allowing someone or something to elicit their desired response from you.
Many years ago I found a tape recorded by a hypnotist entitled “Bushido Training”. It’s goal was to subconsciously program (meaning powerfully and automatically) into the listener the idea that from here on out, before they reacted to anything, they would take a minute, step back mentally and emotionally from the situation, and think about how they wanted to respond BEFORE responding.
Let me tell you, it was a life changer for me. I found it to be incredibly empowering, freeing even, to actually know I was truly in charge of what I said or did, regardless of the circumstance. I still utilize that long-ago training rather automatically in most situations… not all… but enough to matter.
Thing is, when you can think before you react, you control the outcome of the situation for you… not for anyone else necessarily… but for you. AND in truth, you are all you’re allowed to control. It’s powerful stuff.
So reflect, analyze, learn from, and never fear visiting your past. Just refuse to make it your home.