In my earlier years, I often let the past define my future. So much so, that every time I was thinking about possibilities the future would hold, my imagination was limited by what had been true in the past.
Now that I say it out loud, I’m sure you notice how silly it is. How inoperative and how restricting in terms of creating anything new in life. Just the same old, same old.
It was a vicious cycle in which I spent too much time – recycling the old useless thoughts of mine that lead me to live only in survival mode. Just hoping for better times, which seemed never to come. (And I proved it true by continuing to recycle my not-so-helpful thoughts and thus creating and living not-so-helpful situations again and again in my life.)
I was mortified by how easy life seemed to be for others and how difficult it felt for me. When I decided to put the past behind me – I mean, I literally made an exercise during which, in my mind, I moved my past behind me, so that I get to see it only when I look back over my shoulder – did I start to view the present and the future differently.
By the way, this is such a powerful exercise and if you’d like me to guide you through it, just let me know! It’s a game-changer!
Also, journaling has become a habit of mine to actually stop my mind whenever its running wild and to notice what’s going on with me and where I’m heading with my running thoughts.
In reality, the mind never stops. But one way of stopping it, is to write down your own thoughts. As you read those thoughts that you’ve written, that’s a piece of your mind stopped right there. You get a hold of what’s going on in your mind and get an opportunity to see where you’re at.
I’ve found that journaling helps you to:
- Clarify your ideas and next steps
- Face and ease your fears and doubts
- See the inside work that’s needed in any given situation
- Put your worries into right proportions
- Get into alignment
When you are rooted in the present moment, it means that you’re no longer the victim of your past or the prisoner of your future.
The past has no hold of you, it does not play the dominating factor when it comes to you making decisions about your life at this present moment. It does not define what can or can’t be possible in future. It only tells you how you’ve come where you are now.
If you let your past determine what the future can hold, you become the victim of your past. For it only tells what has already happened. The past has no knowledge of the future and is, therefore, a terrible life companion when let to lead.
Yet, when considering past as faithful servant, which has valuable advice to offer, your best in mind, and honoring it for it has brought you here, it comes to support you rather than limit you.
Neither has the future a hold of you, for it only lets you know what is possible. It often appears as a quick image of what seems to be an unattainable ideal, but what in reality is the future’s promise of what is possible.
If you feel the urge, after seeing the promise of the future, to start to force those events into reality already now, trying to control everything that is happening around you, except your own behavior, the future has imprisoned you.
Or, if you instead give in to your doubts and fears, and strive for things and situations that do not even belong to you, because you’re afraid of not being worthy of future’s promise, you again are imprisoned by the future, causing unnecessary dissatisfaction in your life.
Yet, when considering the future’s promise as your true destination, something you are continuously growing around, rather than achieving, yet not giving it the lead, it comes to inspire you instead of imprison you.
Growing roots in the present moment, past as your servant and future as your inspiration, you keep your own power to yourself.
You get to choose who you are and decide what you’re doing. Not your past, nor your future (or anything or anyone else, for that matter) has that power over you. You have it. Right now. At this moment. Every moment.
Sometimes we forget to honor and celebrate how far we’ve come. That’s why I decided to commit this week for honoring the journey I’ve come and celebrate the freedom I now have. Freedom to create the kind of life I want, instead of the one I think I can have.
Will you join me and honor and celebrate how far you’ve come, too?