It is a well-known fact that we cannot move forward when our thoughts are consumed with something from the past. Whether those thoughts are positive or negative from the past, if we are consumed by them, we cannot move forward fully.
Being consumed with overly positive thoughts is no less serving for us than being consumed by traumatic or upsetting events. We miss this moment, right now, when we allow our thoughts to drift fully into those past events.
That is not to say that we cannot have happy or not so happy memories—that isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about the wishing for a different time, living the emotions from a different time, and missing being present now.
Around the holidays, anniversaries of deaths and other times of the year, this becomes more prevalent. The steady diet of past events swirling about in our heads creates a lot of stress on our bodies, and we move about our day like zombies because we are reliving the past instead of living in today.
Moving forward becomes quite a bit like trudging along in quicksand because we are literally stuck in another time and place. If it gets thick enough inside our minds, even the people in our lives today take on the characteristics of those from the time period in which we are stuck.
We may see only negatives or only perceive someone doing something to us that might be similar to what someone from our past did. Or we overly glamorize someone because they remind us of someone (or some feeling) we knew in that past moment we find ourselves. Either way, we aren’t seeing it for what it really is today.
I have struggled in the quicksand at various times in my life. All I know for sure about it is that it is no way to live with any quality. I know for sure that there is no true way to discern what is happening right now when I am looking at it through those past filters.
We cannot get out of quicksand by fighting the quicksand. Thoughts of the past and memories are going to flood our thoughts. That doesn’t mean that we have to give them the power to overtake our lives. So how do we get out of the quicksand?
I have done it in many ways over the years of managing quicksand, but I am by no means an expert about how you might find your way safely away from it. What worked for me each time was different, but the critical factor was that I truly was willing to do something to get out of it.
As we trudge through the holiday season’s quicksand together, I want to hear from you. I want to know how you have gotten yourself through it and to the other side of it. I will share mine throughout the month, if you share yours too. Imagine the list we can compile to help others if we do it together!