11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version (NKJV)
Your past shapes who you are. The experiences you have throughout your life play an integral part in how you behave and look at the world. This may not seem like a big deal, but in certain circumstances, it can become a detriment to your success.
Keeping your focus on your past can actually negatively affect things in the future. From your work life to your love life, even your day-to-day things can be affected by an inability to move past negative experiences.
It’s perfectly normal to feel sad after a breakup, and even spend some time licking your emotional wounds. However, focusing on relationships that are long over is an unhealthy way to live your life.
You can sabotage your future love life by idealizing your ex. This sets up a standard in your mind that no future romantic interests can meet. This robs you of potential opportunities for what could be even greater relationships.
Each romantic relationship, however, has something valuable you can take from it. Allow yourself to learn the lessons that the relationship teaches, then give yourself permission to move on.
Most fears are caused by prior experiences. People who are afraid of dogs usually had a bad experience with a dog. People who avoid eating certain foods likely had a really bad reaction to that food when they tried it.
While this is a rather indirect way of dwelling on the past, it can close you off to new experiences.
Grudges can run deep. If a person feels that someone has wronged them, they could be hard pressed to let the person attempt to atone for their mistake.
Anger seems justified in a lot of circumstances. However, forgiveness is a major part of the healing process that can result in a tremendous restoration. People who were once alienated after a falling out can let bygones be bygones and start fresh.
Keep the Past in the Past
After a particularly negative experience, it’s human nature to put some emphasis on it. It’s important to remember that tomorrow is a brand new day. You can choose to start off with a completely blank slate.
Emotional responses are normal and grieving is a necessary process in tragic circumstances, but remaining stuck in that state is the danger. Emotional wounds begin to heal when, after a time of grieving, you move on with your life.
Take time to recover from negative experiences. However, it’s equally important that you make an effort to let bygones be bygones. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. Keep a positive outlook, even after a bad experience. Learn the lesson that the experience offers, file it away in your mind and choose to head in a positive direction.
The past has value, and should not be discarded entirely. But once you’ve learned the lessons from the past and gotten all the benefit it offers, take what you’ve learned and use it to move forward with a positive attitude in the direction of your dreams.