Living Into Your Past
Most of us, not all of us, but most of us want some personal development in our lives. We want to see progress, self improvement and know it is really happening. So, when does this progress occur? How do you know when you’ve moved forward? Isn’t that a tricky question for a tricky subject? It is especially difficult if you are living into your past. Living into your past? What does that mean?
We’re “Living Into Our Future”
Let’s face it, we all live in anticipation of our futures, what’s to come. Will it be good or not so? Not certain what I mean? Let me give you an example of what “living into the future” looks like.
Have you ever noticed what happens when you plan a vacation? Say you’re heading out for a well deserved 10-day Hawaiian vacation. Days before you leave you’re in a great mood; you feel the bright sun on your face, the sand squishing through your toes. Even though you are in blizzard conditions at home but you feel warm all over with the mere thought of leaving for sunlit Hawaii. Aren’t you living into and anticipating the future? Of course you are!
Now you’ve spent 9 glorious days sunning, surfing, swimming, soaking it all in. It’s day 10, your last day on the island. You still have a full day to play, but your mindset shifts. No longer do you feel the intense warmth of the sun, no, you’re feeling the wintry weather you are heading back to. You may still be physically in paradise but your thoughts are already anticipating the snow, the cold and the return to work. Once again you are living into your future.
How Life Looks
We all tend to rely on our past experiences to guide us through our daily lives. Just look at your daily routine. Do you have breakfast before dressing or vice versa? It’s the same everyday. Is the drive the same to work every day? I’d wager it is. Do you shop the same aisles at the grocery store? I know I do. Chances are pretty good that you, and I, have the same daily… weekly routine because that’s the way we’ve always done it. It’s based upon our past habits and experience.
We perceive our futures in terms of the past. Our past experiences, habits, successes and failures all hold meaning for us. We give them the power to influence our future simply because we have knowledge of and are aware of what has happened in the past.
I say, your future and your past have been transposed. You expect your future to be like your past because that’s what you know, that’s what you have experienced. Rather than your future being open to creation and possibility you anticipate your future by living into your past.
For instance, you may know someone who thinks that since they’ve always had personal relationships that ended poorly that is all they will ever have. They go into the next relationship already doomed to fail. Or, how about the jobs or career they chose? In the past they’ve always had lousy bosses who demand a lot and never acknowledge their hard work. On the next job interview they’ve already sized up their next boss as the same, with no evidence. This is what living into the future from the past looks like.
Putting the Past in the Past
So, what if all of our past experiences and habits were just left in the past? What might a new relationship or job interview turn out to be? The past, with no claim on the future, could be left where it belongs… in the past.
Denying the past to dictate the future we’d all be staring at an uncharted future, a future fully open to unlimited creation, boundless possibility. By clearing out the future of past habits and lessons the future is freed to create from nothing. It would be like starting with a completely blank future blackboard, starting fresh with the proverbial clean slate.
Now life becomes an adventure without the bounds, barriers and limitation of the past. Life is exciting, spontaneous and unpredictable. Pretty cool, huh?
Try this… the next time (like, sometime today…) you are faced with the thought “it’s always happened this way,” or “it will never change” stop dead in your tracks and clear that thought away. Put that thought in the past where it belongs and start untarnished and clear with no expectations. The past no longer holds reign on the future… you are then free to create from nothing! And, that is simply exhilarating!