Depending on your perspective, the past can be your best friend or your worst enemy after 60. Some of us are able to see the past as a treasure chest of learning experiences. Others, like me, if I’m completely honest, struggle to let go of our mistakes and let the past prevent us from living fully in the moment. Which of these two extremes are you closest to?
There are several problems with obsessing about the past. First, for the most part, the lessons that we need to learn from our mistakes are obvious. Thinking about “what if’s” won’t change anything. Second, focusing too much on the past has a tendency to prevent us from taking care of problems and seizing opportunities here in the present. It’s almost as if our brains have a limited amount of capacity, and, when we are looking backwards, we often miss what is right before our eyes.
There is a quote that I love that sums this up perfectly. Sheile Burke once said, “The journey is much easier when you are not carrying your past.”
I love the imagery in this simple quote. When you are stuck in the past, doesn’t it feel like you are carrying a huge weight with you? There have been times in my life when it felt like this.
Living in the present requires us to forgive ourselves for our perceived mistakes. It asks us to treat ourselves with the gentle care and love that we treat others. No matter what has happened to you, it is done. You can’t change it. All you can do is focus on living your life to the full right now.
What are your thoughts on this? Please join the conversation below.
Do you often find yourself thinking about the past or worrying about the future? Or, are you the kind of person who has been able to find a way to live in the present? If so, what is your secret? What advice would you give to the other women in our community who are struggling to come to terms with their past?