What is the Past?
One should never look at the past ! The past is crucial to find ourselves. Stay in the present for that is the road to happiness. Do not look towards the future, live in the present. One must have goals to achieve so one must look at the future. A bit confusing eh? Self help books, psychotherapists, and psychologists discuss these issues till we are in blue in the face, of course only blue in the face in the present, then soon it will be the past. So what is the truth about these issues of past, present and future? There is no hard theoretical truth; however there is a healthy stance one can take.
Some objective facts about the past. The past does make us what we are today. From how we relate to people, relationships, work ethics and happiness. Of course this can be modified by introspection and desire to change. Facts, ALL health care, medicine, psychology, optometry, chiropractic, dentistry, and even massage therapy must look at the past history to obtain a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Approximately seventy five to eighty percent of all medical diagnoses can be obtained from asking an appropriate “history” ala “Past History.” It is truly a blatant lie when one says they should not look at the past to resolve their personal issues. One should not ruminate on the past traumas; however NO ONE can move forward, stay in the present let alone the future without dissecting the past. It is a psychological impossibility.
Many individuals do not want to look back for very good reasons. The past is either too painful, they do not have the cognitive or emotional ability to problem solve, they do not remember for it was too traumatic, or they are in excessive denial to how much the past effected them. The past has just occurred. After reading one sentence you have placed that sentence in the past. As you are reading you are formulating ideas, past memories are entering your brain, you may recall some bad memories and you may even decide this author is full of past psychobabble as you deny to look back. Maybe you entertain the idea that there might be merit in this article. Whatever path you are taking this author wants you to be aware of the minds ability to read, assess, problem solve and formulate at one time. This occurs with our brains daily. We sift out what we want to focus on and what we want to place in the plastic garbage bag and bury deep into the refuse pile of past memories. The past must be assessed for us to move to the present and be happy in the present.
What is the Present?
The present is the moment, the second the interaction we have at any given moment. Our thoughts can create a good moment or a bad moment. Remember this how we think will change our interaction. Our thoughts trigger feelings that draw conclusion that may or may not be accurate. This interaction can be the difference between a good and bad outcome. Now add to this mix our past, preconceived views that we were taught. They are always with us no matter how distorted or how accurate. The past teachings and/or experiences definitely taint our present. This is the area where we need to assess for change. Our upbringing, our teachings on minorities, the homeless, politics, and even sex effect our present. To stay in the present and be happy, or to to stay in the present and change is about looking to what influences our present ideas. Our stereotypes of a homeless man causes a knee jerk reaction to many to lock the doors. Fear, induced fear rational or not plays a role. The origin of that fear is in the past and plays out in the present.
To live in the present is taking each moment, accepting and become appreciative what we have and understand we cannot change the past but we sure as hell can learn from it. We must learn from it or we WILL make the same mistakes over and over in the present.
What is the Future?
The future is coming, it is the paragraph you have not read yet. It is just down the computer page. We anticipate, we fear, we fret over the future and hopefully we can become excited over the future. Depressed individuals and life trauma victims have difficulty with looking into the future. They feel undeserved, not entitled, fearful of the same mistakes occurring and do not know how to set future goals that are obtainable. This IS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT SUCCESSFULLY DEALT WITH THE PAST, AND HAVE NOT HAPPILY STAYED IN THE PRESENT. It is a sequential effect that must occur in order to find peace and healing in one’s life.
The future will be, and can be a positive, wonderful experience if the individual learns to stay in the present and understand the past has influenced many aspects of their lives. We all change, the degree of this change is directly related to the amount of introspection and acceptance of our shortcomings, and the distorted teachings that occurred. The way we were taught has changed dramatically. To deny this is to deny our very existence.
To live in peace and in a happy state takes work. It is not getting up in the morning jamming to a happy song, showering, seeing the sunshine and stating, “this will be a wonderful day.” Yes, that works in the short term, however it does NOT sustain. It is this authors want to instill the drive and motivation for lasting happiness. The song you jammed to will end, the sweat glands will take over and you will need to shower again, and the sun will set. To make an everlasting change is to look at the past, recognize the good and bad influence and how it impacted you. Recognize the present and how your thoughts can change outcome, and look towards the future knowing you can achieve, fly and move to greater heights. Happiness does not have to be transient. Happiness is a state of mind that occurs with hard interpersonal work and motivation to change.