June 10, 2018

If you had a different past, it wouldn’t have been you

Water Girl Reflection Woman Water Courses Nature

I recently realized one very simple concept.

Seems trivial in the hindsight, but it changed my life.

We are often told not to spend our time re-living our past mistakes and problems. Yet we all do it. What if? What if I bought bitcoins when they just became available? Chose a different school? Was born in a different country?

With time it can start seeming like everything is stuck in some kind of vicious circle. Seemingly bad decisions of the past block from the view things that went well (or even good things happening right now). It’s as if all events in your life are in two states. Passing by without being noticed and then becoming a problem.

As with many things in self-help advice, everybody agrees you shouldn’t do it. But no-one tells you how.

Recently I suddenly realized why reminiscing and thinking about lost opportunities doesn’t make sense from a logical standpoint.

Imagine a pen drawing a line on a piece of paper. You draw the line and can do whatever you wish with the pen. All directions are open. Yet once the line is drawn, it is there.

Your future can go a million possible ways.

Your past can only go one way.

Let that sink in for a moment. You are you, you are now. For you to become the kind of you that you are now, you had to have the past you had. With all your suffering, problems, mistakes and missteps.

Be grateful for every single detail of your life. If you removed one little detail from your past, you wouldn’t be here. It would have been someone else. Not you.

And now that you can make peace with your past, you can start building your future with a clean slate. After all, your future can go a million ways. Until it becomes your past. Building the unique and wonderful you.

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