Joy in your Past Moments
Time is a useful factor that fluctuates our happiness as it swings between our external and internal focus. Cultivating more happiness within any frame of time has to be an intentional and mindful effort. Time should be seen as a progression from the REMEMBERING (past or gone) to the EXPERIENCING (Now, active or lively) to the EXPECTING (next, maybe or yet to come) moments.
You may have heard people tell others to forget about their past and just focus on what is now and what is coming next. This is not practically possible as humans because we have real feelings and thoughts, and our mind is one of the hardest functions to control. Your past moments were once both your “Now” and future moments. The goal is not to just blindly forget about your past and pretend that it never happened or you never experienced it. The goals are:
- For you NOT to keep dwelling on your past moments and wallow yourself in regrets hopelessly and thoughtlessly.
- For you to validate your feelings about the past and deal with those feelings in a way that they make you and not break you. You come out feeling stronger, and admirable, and not perceive yourself as a failure or a miserable person.
- For you to realize that your past life’s events and circumstances- whether good, bad, or indifferent can set a course for what can motivate or direct you, and they can also be of hindrance to your growth and progress by holding you back if you let them.
- For you NOT to continue carrying and struggling with excess emotional baggage that only keeps weighing you down, holding you back as well as bothering and affecting your happiness, life purpose, and progress in general.
The strengths and Limitations of it: Understand the strengths and limitations of your past moments and the hopes and realities from your expecting moments. This can help you take full ownership and responsibility to maximize your happiness in the now. Do not allow the regrets, failures, and experiences of your remembering (past) moments to ruin the joy and the hopes in your experiencing (Now) and expecting (Later) moments respectively.
The good/lesson in it: Think about the good you can find in your past moments and maximize it. Think and live that good memory from your past. Focus on the good mood or experiences that you had before the misfortune or the negative side came in. When you reach the negative side, acknowledge that it did happen, and accept that the deal has been done. It doesn’t mean you are accepting and agreeing with the bad behaviors or the situation. Then, slowly move your mind from the negative and focus on the lessons from it, and the blessings in the moments, and the hopes in the future. Think about what can be learned from your past. Were they of blessings or lessons? Think about What you can do differently now based on your past.
The Happy Scenes/Memories: As we remember our past, it can be challenging not to lose our joy in the moments especially if we are recalling tragic or traumatic events or loss. There is no better way we can prepare for the loss of our loved ones. And, whenever this happens, we get those feelings of brokenness and sadness, and these are valid reactions. As we express our frustrations and valid feelings, we can also remember the happy times we had together with that person, and we can focus on those happy memories to build our strengths for the “now moments” and the future moments.