Moving Forward: Past to Present

One of my favorite phrases is “moving forward.”  Life is constantly changing, and it is important for us to change with it, moving from past to present.  There is no pause button on the passage of time, which leaves us little choice but to continue moving forward.  We need to adjust to the ebbs and flows and inevitable changes that take place in our lives, as swimming against these currents can lead to frustration, distress, pain, and burnout.

It’s easy for us to get stuck in the past, and to ruminate over the things we could have, should have, or would have done differently.  We worry about this stuff.  We all make mistakes, and we all have our faults.  Although it’s important to look at our own self-defeating patterns and personal shortcomings, we simultaneously need to evolve by using our unique positive strengths, to move forward in our lives.

Here are four helpful steps to help you accomplish this:

1) Accepting Reality:  Whether an issue is resolved or not, some people can still feel stuck in that experience.  Exploring all of your options and trying your very best, though, is sometimes all you can do.  Accept that it may be time to move forward and let things go if circumstances aren’t working out the way you hoped.  Accept that perhaps you’ve changed, or certain situations may not be working for you anymore.  And that is truly okay.  Remember, you are in control of your own life.

2)  Recognizing Your Emotions:  I often tell people that if they do not look at their “negative” emotions closely, they will consequently boil, simmer, and erupt like a volcano.  Nobody wants that!  Or their emotions will be “shelved” for a while, and their compartmentalized feelings will become so heavy on that shelf, that this system of support will eventually collapse.  Nobody wants to break, and nobody wants to hurt, but we’ve all been there.  It’s a part of the human condition, and it’s universally uncomfortable.  Moving forward often requires you to practice mindfulness in paying attention to your emotions, while understanding your triggers as well as your responses to these emotions, so that you can better manage your feelings and learn how to deal with them proactively.

3)  Seeking New Outlets:  If we look back at our pasts, we’ll be thrilled and ecstatic and joyous about some things, and sad, disappointed, or upset about others.  Continuing to expose yourself to new experiences and meeting new people can promote growth, well-being, and learning, which also helps you move forward.

4)  Coping Routines:  Establishing a coping routine for yourself will help you move forward, as opposed to staying stuck in the past.  Coping mechanisms differ for each one of us, so what may work for a friend of yours may not work for you.  Identifying healthy routines, activities, and behaviors can definitely help propel you forward.

My final thought on moving forward?  Be true to yourself!

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