Are you depressed or despairing? Are you downtrodden, remorseful, burdened by past hurts, guilt and regrets, and feeling defeated?
How much time do you want to give to these painful emotions?
Time waits for no man is a rather forgotten adage. But, it is quite true. Once today is past, it is past for ever.
If you cling to what is past, you lose the present moment and lessen your future possibilities. Time keeps marching inexorably forward (from the present – which becomes the past – into the future – which becomes the present moment) in this world which is bound by time and space. It is better to let go of the past, which is only a memory. Forgive others who have trespassed against you. And, forgive yourself for past wrongs and mistakes.
No matter how old you are, no matter how spent you may feel, no matter how physically weak you may be, even if you are in your last days, you can choose to live differently, to think differently, to look at (and interact with) life differently. This is no pie-in-the-sky nonsense. Constructive change for you begins with you this very moment. Bear in mind, that we are all works in progress.
If life is largely a stream of consciousness, then you can consciously choose to direct your stream of consciousness in the direction you desire.
Even the weak, the disabled, the sick can make a positive contribution in the lives of others, sometimes simply with kind words. You have a contribution to make that only you can make. Consider, that the suicide will never be there for another person in his/her hour of need. And, perhaps only that person that took his or her own life would have been there for that person in need. Even if you are a reformed alcoholic, are depressed over a failed marriage, or are in prison, you have a role to play in the web of life that no one else can play for you. You have talents. Do not waste these.
A zen of renewal may simply be letting go of the regrets, remorse, guilt and hurts of the past to make a more positive, active and constructive present. The time is at hand – now, this very moment. Consciously letting go, and thereby removing the burden. Learn from the past, yes, but do not choose to live in it.
And, when your time comes to depart this world and leave the current life (bear in mind that this world is an ever revolving door with many persons entering and many other persons leaving each and every second of the day and night) you will not need to look back, but you will be fully in the moment and then move on.
other related thoughts
A caution is appropriate here. There are many miserable people in this world, Yes, you already know that from your personal experiences. Do not let unhappy people make you unhappy. The sad fact is that the old adage “misery loves company” is true. Miserable people try, even if they are not fully conscious of why they act the way they do, to make others around them unhappy. (Consider the work place for relevant, poignant examples.)
Let me give you an anecdote of ours that is recent and timely. When we were in Texas recently, we saw and interacted with all kinds of people in various ethnic and racial groups. These folks were gainfully employed and appeared to be reasonably happy. (Perhaps, they we so busy earning a living that they did not have time to get mentally hung up on some of these issues.) We did not see any of the chip on the shoulder mentality that we see on a daily basis from so very many adherents of identity politics here in this painfully paradoxical progressive paradise (San Francisco). Now, perhaps, our brief stay in Texas was not fully representative of society there, but it does appear that when people get past dwelling and obsessing on differences, and work together as a community, tensions and animosities decrease. So many of those Identity Politics Warriors (and also SJWs, or Social Justice Warriors) have been fighting their various battles for 30 or more years now, and they are not happy campers, indeed, many strike me as being rather bitter individuals. Thus, be careful who you keep company with.
A final thought, perhaps more of an observation here. How does one meet the challenge of faith? The proud atheist demands that God prove Himself to us mere mortals. But, that demand and approach misses or denies the value of cultivating one’s faith. A little humility can help us all.
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