Part II: The Importance of Responsibility
Reconciling and accepting the past
Nearly all of our thoughts, questions and worries revolve around events and situations in the past or the upcoming future. The closer you look at it, the more will you realize that only a slight percentage of our thoughts revolve around the present. If you so want, “thinking in the present” is an oxymoron in itself, as the line between past, present and future is continuously shifting, which makes it nearly impossible to continuously think about this very moment. Therefore, nearly all human beings are either very focused on the future and the changes that will come along with it, or clearly living in the past full of regret about the drastic changes in nowadays world, (overlapping does exist as well, of course).
Make the most of your life and live it to the fullest
Nevertheless, worrying about the future or struggling with the past – no matter what happened – can be a huge obstacle when it comes to the ambition to live your life in this very moment to the fullest, which might even prevent you from doing so. Accept the past as that what it is, bygone and not changeable. Spending a single second with regret about your past will take you the chance to enjoy this moment, in this second and so on. If you so want, worrying about the past could be seen as a vicious circle; it does not only take you the chance in this very moment to change whatever you dislike, but it also supplies you with another pretty good reason to struggle in the prospective future, aka “Why didn’t I do anything about it when I could?”, etc.
As you can see – worrying about the past and the future can be a vicious circle that occupies your mind with thoughts and situations that aren’t related to this present situation, which finally prevents you from living life to the fullest. The key to success lies in the acceptance of what happened and the reconciliation with the past, the opportunities you’ve missed and with whatever you regret. The realization that the only way to change anything in life is to take action now, in this very moment, will further help you to reconcile with your past. Living your life to the fullest, in this very moment, cannot be accomplished when mentally living in the past and continuously visualizing all the golden opportunities you’ve missed throughout your life.
Don’t pass the buck
The second part of this article was named “the importance of responsibility”, as I believe that it takes a lot of courage but also the willingness to take responsibility to accept what happened in the past and to reconcile with it. After all, it is by far easier to blame other people for your own mistakes and to make specific external influences accountable for the development of your life, rather than acknowledging that it might have been your own fault and seeking the reasons within yourself.
Doing so will take a lot of pressure from your shoulders, it might even be a very good feeling to know that you’re not guilty for negative developments in your life as you can always blame others for it, but it will also let you become a helpless victim. Being a victim does not only make you vulnerable, but it also takes you the last chance to change anything about your current situation – as you clearly do not see yourself as the sole reason for a negative trend, but the victim of it. Accusations will redirect your focus (from doing something about it or making the best of it) towards the problem that might lie many years in the past and can neither be changed nor undone. Taking responsibility for your past and reconciling with it will allow you to gain back the power over your life, which helps you to accept the past, forgive others and to wipe the slate clean, but most important of all: you will start focusing on the present and live in this moment. Make yourself clear that the one who lives in the past and the one who regrets misses the chance – in this moment – to make the best of it, to change it or to start all over again.
Accept the past, let the bygone be bygone and make the best out of your situation. In the end, it depends on you, if you decide to continue to whine about the past, or to make the best of it now, so that you can look back one day with a smile on your face and recognize that everything has come to a good end.