YOU Drive the Car
How are you keeping your past alive?
We talked about this on Wednesday night at our group. It was a topic everyone was eager to discuss. It seems there were two reoccurring themes:
A past hurt, or perceived failure or mistake that pays repeated visits to the present; at our invitation. We continue to invite it to lunch or engage in pillow talk in the middle of the night. Its very existence hinges on our continued attention. So it tells us it’s here for our own good. To protect us from further humiliation and shame, it reminds us every day how incredibly flawed we are. It creeps into every decision we make in the present, coloring our perception. It keeps us in pain, feeling unsafe and untrustworthy.
It is the back seat driver of our lives.
The other way the past stays alive in the present, is in the form of “The Glory Days.” The best times of our life are sadly, behind us. That’s what it tells us. Memories of a better, more carefree, inspired time wash us with nostalgic regret. A golden age where an endless horizon lay ahead. Where we had nothing but time. We felt immortal. Nothing hurt. No bad back or sore shoulder. We took chances, made tons of choices and friends and lived in the moment. Our vacations were epic, our friends were interesting, our bodies were hot and we didn’t even know it. It colors our present with an underlying feeling of melancholy and longing.
Longing for “what was” locks the door on “what is.”
Here’s the thing.
It’s impossible to drive a car forward, only looking in the rear view mirror.
The past tells you to let IT drive. That’s dangerous.
Let’s let the past advise us. But from far away, maybe Skype, not the back seat. After all, it’s part of what made us who we are.
We don’t want to repeat things that didn’t work out well, but we can’t let that stop us from living. Same with waxing nostalgic for the 90’s. Trust me, it wasn’t better.
The best days of our lives are ahead of us. Time to live in the here and now.
Do you have a situation that keeps the past alive for you? I’d love to know. Does it keep you from enjoying your life, now? I love the comments, tell me about it.