Monday, May 2, 2016

Re-Entering the Past Is Never a Good Idea. Here's Why.

How many of us have looked through old pictures and, in that moment, re-lived a past experience through our memories? I'd dare say, most of us have done this.  It's natural to look back on a "freer" time with nostalgia and wish we could re-live a particular day or moment for just an instance.  But, how destructive is this pattern of behavior when we indulge in it day after day?  I understand "destructive" is a powerful word.  But, let's ponder it for a moment.  If what we're re-living is a past relationship... what effect does it have on our current one?  If we're re-living our younger years, what does that do to our current view of ourselves?  If we're re-living a previous career, what does that, in turn, do to our current one?  It's destructive because it takes attention away from the "now," and directs it to the "non-existent" past.  It nurtures a past (person, self, career, etc...) that no longer exists and neglects the current one that sits right in front of us.  In other words, it isn't fair to our present.  

Hanging on to clutter is just a physical way that we do this.  We hang on to that old love letter because it takes us back to a first love.  Or perhaps we hang on to our old work papers because it reminds us of our last job.  Maybe we're hanging on to old running shoes because it brings back memories of a younger, more active us.  

Whatever it is we're hanging on to today for the sake of "memories," let's let them go.  Let us make memories right now and enjoy each and every second of them.  For this moment will become the memory of tomorrow.  Do we want to look back with love or with regret?  Let's make today count.