I read this quote and it struck me, not because it was a new concept, but because it was like a light bulb illuminated in my head … duh!
We tend to live in the past or in the future. There are people who live in the past; focused on previous achievements, holding onto childhood trauma – so much that they feel they are still there today. Others live in the future, existing in a sort of dreamland, telling everyone what great person they’re going to be or what incredible feats they are going to accomplish. Both of these states, past and future, are simply ways of escaping responsibilities in the present. We cannot get to who we really need to be by living in the past or in the future. ~ Yehuda Berg
Why did it have an impact on me? Simple. It was because I am guilty of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future instead of focusing on the right now. How many of us are guilty of this … show of hands … that’s what I thought. We all do it. I think it’s completely normal to take a short mental trip to the past or future, but when does it become unhealthy?
Living in the Past
I’ve written before about holding on to our baggage and how unhealthy it is, particularly when you’re single and dating. You need to let go of the negativity of your past in order to move forward positively. I know, easier said than done, but if you haven’t dealt with past issues, then you will bring them into your new relationships. For example, I’ve met people who have a really hard time trusting people because they were lied to in the past. The person you are with today isn’t to blame for someone else’s bad behavior. Each person is different and should be treated as such. When you get rid of all that baggage you only bring YOURSELF into a relationship. No one wants to deal with your baggage or be blamed for someone else’s mistakes. The past is gone, you can’t bring it back or go back and change anything. Forgive and let go, trust me, it will do you a world of good! So, do yourself, and the world, a favor and deal with your hurts and issues before you move forward.
Living in the Future
We all dream of what we want our lives to be like. Who hasn’t been encouraged to plan forward or asked what their “5 year plan” is? Well, there’s nothing wrong with having goals and aspirations as there is nothing wrong with knowing what you would like your life to look like in the future and working towards it. However, there is something wrong with spending all your time working towards that goal that you forget to live. I know a lot of people like that. Their drive to succeed has made them grow older alone and made them quite lonely. This is also true in dating. Some people have a vision of what type of relationship they want and won’t settle for anything less. Now we all know I’m all about having standards and deal breakers, but, I’m not one to support one vision of life. Not everyone can have the “white picket fence” and not everyone can live in a fancy penthouse in the swankiest part of town. You can’t discount a partner because they don’t fit into your vision of how your life should be like, you never know, you might fall in love with a completely different lifestyle given the chance!!
Living in the Present
When we live in the present we can realize our full potential. It’s simple really. Looking back or forward for too long can make us miss what’s completely in front of us. Living in the present is living realistically. It’s what’s happening right now. You need to accept your life for what it is … not for what it could have been nor for what it could be.
Here are some great tips that I came across about HOW to best live in the present from an article called “The Art of Now: The Six Steps to Living in the Moment“. I think they’re pretty helpful and hope you will too!
- To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).
- To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savoring).
- If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe).
- To make the most of time, lose track of it (flow).
- If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).
- Know that you don’t know (engagement).
So my friends … make a vow to yourself to start Living in the Present. Live for today. The past made you who you are and the future is where you’re going but keep your eye on the road or else you might end up stepping in something someone forgot to pick up after their dog!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva