Friday, August 16, 2013

Past-Present-Future You; Living In The Present

Last night I was sitting on my porch with a really good friend.  She and I have been close since we were in High School, and she's always been my biggest supporter in life.  We were discussing things that happened when we were teenagers that have lead us to the point we are today, and I had the most amazing realization.  I realized that the reason I am so much happier now then I was 3 years ago is because I no longer associate with the pain of my past.  So for today's blog, I want to write my thoughts that I had last night that will explain what it means to let go of past trauma and stop worrying about the future.

The  best way I've found to be more present now is by realizing that there are 3 people inside of you.  There is the "PAST" you, the "PRESENT" you and the "FUTURE" you.  Most of our emotional pain comes from "past" you.  Remembering what it felt like, and holding on to that memory.  Other pain comes from "future" you.  Worrying about "getting it right" for future you.  I've read quite a few books now that talk about leaving the past in the past and not worrying about the future, but I didn't realize until last night how I actually achieved that.  What I did was I assigned my negative feelings of my past to my former-self.  I look back at the person I was at 17 and understand that things happened the way they did because that girl was unprepared and confused.  She acted the way she did because she didn't know any better at the time.  She dropped out of college, a few times, because she was indecisive.  She was emotionally hurt because she didn't know what love was.  None of those feelings are mine anymore, they are all hers.  She is just a small version of who I am, and I no longer relate to her anymore.  I have empathy for her for the hardships she had in her time, but I understand that many of those hardships were caused by her own lack of knowledge.

I am older, and a little bit wiser now.  I can look at what happened with new eyes as a new person and have a whole new understanding of the situation.  But I also understand that I can't fix anything that happened to that girl.  I can't save her, make her feel better, or change her decisions.  I only have to look at her as I do my own children and say "Its okay, I'm not upset, I forgive you."  By assigning your "past" self its own personality that you no longer relate to, you can effectively leave the past pain for that person to deal with, because its no longer your concern.  You get to start over, right now.  You've held onto that stuff for so long that its time to become your "present" self and concern yourself with only what surrounds you today.  Letting go of the past is liberating.

As for the "future" you, think about it this way.  Do you think that the person you were 10 years ago could get through a day of your life today?  That "past" self would probably have a lot of issues trying to navigate through your life today.  In fact, that past you probably couldn't even comprehend what's happening in your life now.  Well, that's how you need to look at "future" you.  In the future you will have more knowledge and experience than you do in this moment.  Even a week from now, your entire life can change, and you wont know until it happens.  When you start worrying about things that are in the future, just trust "future" you to handle it when it arises.  Just like you've handled every other situation up until this moment, you'll be able to do the same for anything that comes your way.  Give yourself credit for the things you haven't learned yet, but will in the future, and leave the decision making to "future" you who will have more wisdom that you do in this very moment.

I hope that helps you see how I did it.  Anything that has hurt me in the past, didn't hurt me today, but hurt the person I was THEN.  I left her in the dust a while back, and I will never turn around.  She dealt with it how she knew best, and I am free to enjoy my today.  As for the future?  I have goals, and hopes, and dreams about what I want to happen, and I am going to move myself in the direction that I think will get me there.  If I hit a road block, I'll figure something out when the time comes, because I'll be more prepared in that moment then I am today.

So for now, I hope you spend a little time enjoying yourself, today, in the present, and have a wonderful weekend!

Peace, Love, and Happiness
Lauren
The Happiest Woman Alive.