Larry James' BLOG

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Looking Back. . .

Filed under: Change,Letting Go,Relationships,Starting Over — Larry James @ 7:00 am

When you get to a certain age, you become aware of all the mistakes you have made and of all the things you could have had – but don’t – and what you could have done differently in your life and in your relationships.

past-present-futureIt’s normal to look back on occasion but not healthy to stay stuck in the past. Focusing on regrets doesn’t help. As a matter of fact, it can stymie your future personal growth and keep you from the things you can experience right now. Mistakes will be forgiven, but only if there is a desire to change. The inability to let go of regrets, the guilt, shame, and pain that may have dominated the past is not emotionally healthy, and does not contribute anything positive to the present.

People who live in the past generally are afraid to compete in the present. They live in the past because that’s where their thoughts are. There is no future in the past.

“I’ve never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don’t understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.” ~ Sophia Loren

I am not suggesting that you forget the past. That is not possible. We must acknowledge the past because it has played an important role in shaping who we have become today. Savor the sweet memories you have and push the “fast forward” button to what’s next!

Some will disagree, however I believe that losers LIVE in the past. They live in fear of what is next. Their attitude about the future is dim. While nostalgia is one thing, it still prevents us from living fully in the present moment. Dwelling on the past is a total waste of time. You have an everyday choice to change your attitude about it. People live trying to rectify themselves from mistakes or decisions they have made in the past. You cannot change the past, so a better option is to the live to make your future better than the past. You will never move forward if you are continually driving in reverse.

lifegoesonI know. It’s cliché, but today really is the first day of the rest of your life.

What will you do differently today? Tomorrow?

The only reasons you should look back is to see how far you’ve come and to learn from the experience! Use this learning experience only to better yourself in the future.

“Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My own personal conclusion is this: Live in the present. Make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. It is good to embrace the past, but not live by it. Look to the future with anticipation. Focus on having FUN in your life. Life is not a rehearsal. This is it! Decide to live life differently than you have been living it. Different is a good thing.

Forgive past hurts. If you are harboring resentment towards another human being because of past hurts, choose to forgive and move on. If you are alone, be happy that you are with someone you love! 😉 If you are in a relationship, make some new promises to yourself (and your partner); promises that will forward the action you need to take to make life and your relationship better. Tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not so stop worrying. Love more. Do something to enhance your own spirituality.

“The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post.” ~ L. Thomas Holdcroft

As long as you are breathing. . . you can start all over again! – (from the CD, “Hello Tomorrow” by Dave Koz)

BONUS Articles: Forgiveness… What’s it For?
Me Change? Yuk!!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

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