In his Jack’s Winning Words blog to start off this week, Pastor Freed used this quote – “There’s another life that I mighthave had, but I am living this one.” (Kazuo Ishiguro)
It is quite normal every now and then to muse about what might have been, had you made a different decision at some point in your past. However, it is not health (mentally) to obsess about what might have been. It is better that you spend that time planning what might yet still be. Look forward, not backwards.
I’ve posted here often about letting go of things in the past, whether it was a a traumatic event or just a poor decision, and moving on with life. Letting go of the past allows one to focus upon the here and now and to turn one’s attention to the decisions ahead. It matters less how you got here than where you plan to go from here. There’s not a bit of value in beating yourself up for past decisions; although there is hopefully some value in what you learned from the outcome of those decisions.
Spending time analyzing and agonizing over past decisions leads some into the downward spiral of depression. Since there is no way to change the past there seems to be no “solution” available and frustration and remorse can quickly turn into guilt and depression.
So, let’s not go there. Focus instead, as Kazuo advises on the life that you have now and spend you energy (mental and physical) on planning for where you want to go and how to get there. Perhaps yo can add to your prayers this thought – “Lord let me accept my life as it is and give me the strength and wisdom to do the things to make it better in the future.”
Taking the time to stop and examine the life that you have and the future that you would like may also cause you to re-evaluate some of your current goals or focuses in life. We (especially men) often get so “heads-down” focused upon goals like making more money or achieving more position and power at work, that we forget the reasons and the people that we started doing that work for in the first place.
You can’t go back and make good on all of the little league games that you missed with your son or the school play with your daughter that you didn’t see – that was a life you might have had, but didn’t. However, you can adjust your priorities and refocus for all of the future games and plays and recitals yet to come. It is not too late to change and make the future better.
Instead of constantly looking back through the door of what might have been in your life; close that door and instead open the door to the future of what yet can be. You are living this life. Make the best of it.
Have a great week of possibilities ahead.