If you are feeling depressed, it is said, you are living in the past. We talk often about the thrill and life changing experience of living entirely in the now. Volumes of literature in self-help aisles of bookstores, millions of websites, and dozens of apps are focused on bringing your focus to the here and now, the prestigious present moment. Let go of the past, we are advised, and stay out of the present. Be here. Be now. Be nowhere else. There’s a reason for all of the supplemental information. Being present, completely free of shaping from the past or anxieties for the future, is extremely hard to do.
At any given moment, we are a calculation of all our past experiences. Every single one of the multi million messages we receive every day shape who we are, how we act, and how we see ourselves, as well as the world around us. To attempt letting go of the past entirely is to neglect the very real experiences of our lives. Some spiritual advocates emphasize that this is the answer and that being a free form being is the better way to live. Others realize that there is wisdom, necessity, and purpose in all of our past experiences. Lines of thinking which align with ideas of fate, destiny, and predetermined life paths would suggest that our pasts have taken place precisely as they were supposed to in order to bring us to the present moment right now. Philosophies may suggest that the past is like an arsenal of knowledge, a foundation upon which men can stand as their understanding of the world. Instead of focusing on making peace with the past and turning your back on it, consider making use of the past in a healthy way. Use the past as knowledge and common sense as tools for living a better now. Easily, men allow the past to control them, most often by trying to control the events of the past. You cannot change the past. You can allow the past to change you, for the better or for the worst. Let yourself be humbled by the life you have lived, the depths it took you to, as well as the heights. Recognize the remarkable amount of strength, endurance, and resiliency it has taken for you to get right here, to this moment, where you are able to reflect on the past with detachment rather than be consumed by it. Living in a healthy relationship with the past is better than living controlled by it or in ignorance of it. What has happened to you has happened to you and it cannot unhappen. what happens to you next is in your control. Seize it and make the most of it.
Men are finding freedom from addiction by transforming their lives from the inside out at Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon. By creating sustainable change, men can create a sustainable recovery for life. For information on our innovative approach to men’s addiction treatment, call (503) 850-2474 today.