I believe that every one of us has experienced the pangs of guilt over something from our past. Something we did or didn’t do, that had we done it differently it would have effected our lives, and/or those around us in a very different way. We allow ourselves to suffer for all the choices did and did not make; and beat ourselves up over the “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” that we cannot change. The thing with the past is no matter how hard we beg, cry, scream, yell or wish it can never be changed. All we have is the now. If we start with changing the now then maybe we can learn to forgive ourselves and let these things that haunt us go.
And then there’s the future… I am sure that every one of us has experienced that overwhelming feeling of dread about something in the future. A decision we are faced with but don’t want to make, a place we must go, a wall of uncertainty that leaves us wondering; “Is it the right thing to do?”, “what if I make the wrong the choice?”, “what if it turns out badly?”… we all know these feelings, we have all experienced them and will continue to experience them until we breathe our last.
Why do we experience these feelings? Why do we torment ourselves over things that are done and gone and cannot be changed, or things that are up and coming and unpredictable? Can we change the past? Can we control the future? No we can’t do either, so why do we insist on worrying about things we cannot do anything about? Seriously I am asking why do we choose to be so preoccupied but what was, and what may be? What a waste of our precious time. All we have is this moment. All we can participate in is the present. So why do we insist on being absent due to guilt and anxiety?
I think if we put just half the energy that we insist on investing into our past and future issues our lives would be transformed. All of us, every last one is seeking the magical ‘happy’. We long for peace and serenity, yet live outside of the now and rob ourselves of the experience of truly living. I believe that happy can only be achieved in the here and now. It cannot be chased after, it will just elude us always drifting on the edges of where we can reach. We need to still ourselves so that happy can come and inhabit the here and now.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson