I should have. I would have. I could have. If only…
Getting caught up in the past is a trap that many of us fall into. Contemplating all the things that you feel should have happened but didn’t. Wishing you would have done something different but didn’t. Thinking to yourself, if only I could have (fill in the blanks). The saddest part of living in the past is all that you miss in the present. In this “now.”
In my work, especially when I’m reading for a client who has lost a loved one, I hear the “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s.” I hear the muffled joy under the blanket of sadness or regret that is plaguing my client. I hear how hard it is to be in the present. To be in a state of acceptance. To live in the now.
I understand and I sincerely empathize. I, too, have felt those feelings. I, too, have needed to choose to focus differently in order to improve the quality of my life. I feel no judgement, just love and understanding. I will say, however, to you (and to me) how absolutely essential it is to realize what you are giving up when you hang on to the past.
When I’m asked “how?” How do I let go of the past? I encourage my clients to tell me about what is happening in their lives right now. I ask them about what they love today. I ask them what brings them joy in this moment. I encourage them to ground themselves through looking at their world with “new eyes” allowing themselves to be present and curious. I talk to them about taking regular deep breaths so as to regulate their nervous system so they can focus.
Look for and take in the gift of each current moment. Check yourself on the “shoulda/woulda/coulda” thoughts and words. Do they serve you? Do they fire you up? Do they lift you up?
There is great power in the now. Breathe that power in. You are here now and you deserve to feel the joy of life.