Let the Past be the Past

“Useless to tell myself that a dream and the memory of yesterday are the same thing.”

― Borges Jorge Luis

Not exactly sure if what that thought means is what I’m about to say, but here’s where it led me:

I’ve never been one to look back and ask – contemplating today – what went wrong, what could I have done differently, what would be different had that other thing happened instead?

Nor have I been one who – contemplating today – longs for what was happy yesterday.

Most of the things that happened in my yesterdays were beyond my control, I was a (‘though I loathe to use the word) victim of circumstances. And where I had a say, a decision to make, a direction to take, I weighed my options, thought about the consequences, and decided knowing – whether rightly or wrongly – I’d made the best choice given all the information at hand.

What happened, happened.

While I took several psychology classes in college, I’m no psychologist, but I learned enough to know that we have “selective” memory and we tend to forget the bad unless something horrific affected our psyche to the degree that it can’t be forgotten (even if repressed, it haunts us to this day, directing our thoughts and actions), or, conversely, remember the good, especially that singular event (or like events) that took us to the seventh heaven and can’t be forgotten (and we, even if unconsciously, long to experience them again and seek every opportuniy to do so.)

Yesterday was what it was. Good times and bad times, times I fondly remember and times I’d rather forget.

And yet I am not one of those who allows the bad of yesterday to influence my life today, nor am I one who lives in the good memories, wishing they’d never ended.

What happened then can never happen again just as it did, because we are not who we were and circumstances – location, people, the world in general – can never be exactly the same as then.

Dreaming – or “nightmaring” – of yesterday, the past, is useless – a waste of time and energy.

Better to just get on with life, letting the past be what it is, a memory.

And making a new dream, today, for tomorrow.

– Bill

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