“What is in the past is left in the past. The future is not yet reached. Who knows what tomorrow brings, it could bring death”.
These words the Buddha spoke over 2500 years ago have never been more applicable. For some strange reason, the human mind has a difficult time with the present moment. We prefer to live in the past as a distraction from the here and now.
Many of us have experienced painful traumas in our lives. Nothing I say is meant to diminish or belittle your suffering. Our stories are what brought us to this point. It is in the grasping to this story that keeps us from moving forward. We often spend a tremendous amount of time re-living things we define as the pivotal events that prevented us from reaching our full potential.
When we blame the past for why we do not move forward, we have guaranteed that we will stay exactly where we are. The past has to be acknowledged for what it is before we can begin the journey to now.
One of my teachers once asked a group of students what defines the past? Is an hour ago any more in the past than the reign of the dinosaurs? They are both in the past. The past is a place that we can never return to and in many cases, a place we would never want to return to given a logical choice.
I encourage you to ponder this question for a while. What is the past and why am I so afraid to move out of it? There is no bargaining with the past to make it better and we may not see tomorrow.
For the new year may we accept the past and set it behind us to live each day for what it is, right now.