Past Present Future

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Past Present Future

A reader request: Would you please talk about being/living in the moment, for this day and not ruminating about the past.  I would like to hear your thoughts about mistakes or difficult things that have happened in the past and the ineffectiveness of dwelling on them. ~ Here you go Debby:

Throughout the ages, wise people have been teaching humankind to live in the present, to be here – now.


Take a snap shot of your mental and emotional state right now. Then take 5 deep breathes, much deeper and slower than you normally breathe. Then take that snapshot again.

Chances are that those breathes brought an increase in peace, relaxation, lightness, and well-being. My face just naturally moved into a half-smile. That means that pressure, worry, and the “there’s somewhere I have to get to or something I have to prove” panic decreased.

That’s what being present does for us.

Problems cannot exist in the present. Said a different way, we cannot experience a problem while we are being present. I need to leave the present and enter either the past (should have done something differently) or the future (oh no, what’s going to happen, this won’t be good) in order to experience a problem.

Even if I’m being chased by a tiger right now, the problem is in the future. What’s going to happen to me if the tiger catches me?

The Past: The only work any of us need to do is to get better at loving, accepting, and approving of ourselves – EXACTLY AS WE ARE! That “exactly as we are” part includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. To be a human is to be both a mess and a miracle.

Because we cannot allow ourselves to be a mess, because we don’t fully love, accept and approve of ourselves, we ruminate about the past – desperately wishing that we had done something different. And of course in this process, we make ourselves terribly bad and wrong. “I should have done that differently. I’m such a fill in the blank!!! Beating up on ourselves is clearly not loving ourselves.

These regret filled trips to the past change nothing and do absolutely nothing to make our lives better. All they do is bring our energy, excitement, enthusiasm, optimism, creativity, and sense of possibility down. They suck the aliveness right out of us.

The law of attraction is often described as a boomerang. These regret trips are a poop-covered boomerang. We are not going to be happy when that one comes back. This is focusing on what you do not want rather than on what you do want.

No amount of thought can ever change our past. However, we can change our experience of the past by letting go and forgiving ourselves, by allowing ourselves to be human.

There’s a Chinese proverb: When is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago because we can enjoy the shade and eat the fruit today. When’s the next best time to plant a tree? Today.

We all have past stuff. And, we all also have today. A much more effective (and enjoyable) use of our time is to plant trees today rather than regret the trees we did not plant 20 years ago.

Our now creates our future. So, what are you aiming at? What do you intend to create? If I’m suffering now because of my past, then I am creating a future of suffering.

We have suffered enough already. It is time to quit suffering about the past!

Much Love,

I write these Daily Doses because I know that my content does make a difference and helps people live better lives. So, if you know someone who would benefit from today’s thoughts, please pass this on. Thanks and gratitude in advance! 

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