There is a lot of literature and talk these days regarding living in the “now.” There is no argument that can stand against this encouragement, since “Now” is the only time that we, literally, can live. The past is only real in the form of memories, and the only place that tomorrow exists is on your calendar; it has yet to be created.
All of that being said, there are still a lot of people allowing there now to be hijacked and stolen by memories of past hurts, or incessant worries about what might happen to them tomorrow. Thus, “living in the moment” is often more wishful banter than actual practice. Will Durant wrote some great words on releasing the past. Have a look:
“Forget mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.”
Great advice, simple and direct. You and I both know, however, that “forgetting” everything isn’t as simple as it sounds. In fact, there is a very good chance that you are NOT going to forget the past, and that’s OK; as long as you are able to re-frame those memories of what you perceive as mistakes, failures, traumas, etc., in a powerful and productive way. How can that be done? By using three tools – acceptance, evaluation, and expectancy.
First, let’s dispense with the concept of forgetting the past, and focus instead on learning to embrace it with non-judgmental acceptance. You cannot go back and change that which is gone forever, which is exactly what your past is…GONE. All that remains to do with it is to adjust your memories so that you see them as neither good nor bad, black or white, or anything else other than experiences. “Bad” memories can make you a slave to negative emotions, but an event that has been accepted as a gift of experience becomes empowering, because it can then be subjected to the second tool – evaluation.
All of the power and wisdom that you will ever possess will come through the open door of experience, ironically enough, within the “bad” ones in particular. Evaluate them to find what strengths were formed that you can use to advance your life and enhance your growth, then discard the rest. The final tool, (summed up in Mr. Durant’s assertion that, “Today is your lucky day”), is the attitude of positive expectancy.
Make this a daily habit. Don’t hope the day will be a positive experience, EXPECT it. Expectation is a physical manifestation of your underlying faith, and faith will produce results wherever it is applied [It is important to note that fear and worry are also forms of faith - certainty of a negative outcome - and that will bear poison fruit just like positive faith produces sweet fruit. Faith is a totally impartial power]. Be sure, though, not to abandon acceptance while you are embracing expectation. Still accept what may come impartially while you hold to faith in more pleasant experiences.
There you have it. Accept the past, evaluate and take from it what is of value, and expect great things every moment of your life. This will send you soaring to new heights of joy and wisdom. Today IS your lucky day!
Many Blessings To All,