Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded Proud Mary, written by Credence front man John Fogerty, in 1968, but it was the 1970 cover by Ike and Tina Turner that became the iconic version of the song. Watch Tina’s 1971 version here.
There is a great piece of advice for life in one of the early lines in the song – “I never lost one minute of sleep worrying about what might have been.”
Too many people lose sleep and more because they get lost in the morass of coulda, woulda, shoulda. Well, you didn’t, didn’t, didn’t and it’s over and gone; so, let it go and move on.
There was a popular little phrase – “What it was, What it is and What it yet may be”. One sure thing about the past is that it has passed and there is no going back. The “what it was” in your life is immutable – it will never change, no matter how hard you think about it. So spending time thinking about it is just wasting time in the present. It’s OK to have an occasional fond memory of a person or an event but beating yourself up for bad decisions or decisions not made is just self-destructive. Forgive yourself as God forgives you and move on.
Most of your thoughts should be focused on the moment at hand. Those lost in the past or dreaming about the future often miss opportunities in the present – they may gaze right past the interesting person that they just met, forgetting immediately their name and not taking the chance to get to know them better. By being so self-absorbed they are like the guy in the recent sleep apnea commercial who misses seeing the flying pig – they miss great things.
Life happens within the context of the world around us and if we aren’t paying attention to the world around us we miss a lot that life has to offer. So, instead of letting your mind wander into the past or the future, focus on the here and now and open your eyes to all of the possibilities that are around you. There are new people to meet, new places to explore and new experiences to be had.
So, don’t ever lose a moment of sleep thinking about what might have been and don’t waste to much time worrying about what yet may be, instead focus upon the moment and drink in the full measure of what is around you to experience – the people, the things and the happenings. If you truly live in the moment, you won’t have time to worry about the past or the future – there’s just so much to experience right now.
Be like that boat, the Proud Mary, and keep rollin’ on the river of life. Have a great day and weekend. Maybe I’ll see you along the way and this time I’ll try harder to remember your name.