Easy steps to move forward and leave your past behind.
2 min read
“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.” — Oscar Wilde
You may have piles of money or just a couple dull coins. In one area, we are all equal.
No one can buy back their past.
The past is a funny thing. They say hindsight is 20/20, but more frequently it’s colored by how we choose to remember it.
Those of us with mental illness frequently use the past as a weapon for beating ourselves up. Our mistakes and missteps haunt us like Jacob Marley’s ghost.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Accept and Move On
I’m no stranger to battling old monsters. I’ve hurt people and made hundreds of poor decisions. Focusing on those transgressions used to leave me stuck in my mind.
Then I made a change.
Being stuck is no longer an option. I refuse to be captive to things I cannot change.
Three steps helped me move forward.
Acceptance comes when you recognize the past for what it was, own responsibility for any mistakes, and forgive yourself. Allow yourself to acknowledge that you are not the same person today you were then.
Stop holding prior you hostage based on today’s standards. You can only change what happens from this point forward.
Holding grudges will keep you stuck in the past. Refusing to forgive someone is tantamount to giving them a life sentence for their infraction.
Many times, the person who hurt you is clueless to the fact you are still in pain. They go on with their life, and it’s time you do, too.
Generosity is more than possessions and money. While it’s great to give to the less fortunate, there are many ways to be generous.
Choosing generosity is mindset. Giving your time, listening patiently, and opening doors are simple ways to be generous.
The fastest way to forget the past is to get busy doing something of value for someone in need. It’s hard to fixate on negative thoughts while bringing joy to someone else.
No one can buy back the past. By pursuing acceptance, forgiveness, and generosity, you’ll find it easier to leave the past where it belongs — in the past.
Read next: You Only Need to Be One Step Ahead to Help
This story first appeared on Medium on July 18, 2020.