You Can't Change the Past but the Present is in Your Hands

You tend to cling to the mistakes of the past as if they'll change if you think about them so much. However, in reality, the secret of happiness is in the here and now. Find out more below.
You Can't Change the Past but the Present is in Your Hands
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Some people have a tendency to focus on the past. However, this prevents them from moving forward toward a better future. Undoubtedly, the past can hurt but it can’t be changed no matter how much you may want it to. That’s why enjoying the power of now and living in the present is the key to finding happiness.

Consciousness is in the here and now

To live in the present moment, your consciousness must be centered in the here and now. In this way, you won’t feel worried about the future and negative feelings won’t prevent you from moving forward because of your past. In fact, living in the present implies that you’re living your life right now.

The past and the future are like illusions, they exist only in your mind. However, the past no longer exists and the future hasn’t yet been created. In reality, tomorrow never comes since it’s just a concept. What’s important is now, this very moment.

“The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

– Albert Einstein-

woman with a blue butterfly

Living in the present can change your life

If you’re not living in the present you’re living in a delusional world. For example, how many times have you worried and felt bad about things that you don’t know are even going to happen? How many times have you blamed yourself for mistakes you’ve made, regardless of how long ago they might’ve happened? If you find you’ve done this too many times, it’s probably because you’ve got trapped in past and future worlds.

Living in the present will help you improve your emotional well-being, as well as your physical health. Not living in the present will affect you badly. In fact, mental stress from living in unreality and worry will have a negative impact on your physical and emotional health.

When you live in the present, you make peace with your past and don’t try to control your future. In fact, you come to accept things. You begin to accept life as it is now, not how you would’ve liked it to be.

When you accept things, you realize things as they are. You’re able to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in the past. Furthermore, you’re able to find peace in your heart, knowing that what must happen will happen.

There are times when it’s difficult to live in the present

Some people experience deep anxiety because they’re either continually looking back or they don’t stop looking into the future. However, the biggest reason you may have a hard time living in the present is that you just don’t stop thinking. Indeed, you’re constantly talking to yourself. In fact, it’s difficult for you to listen to anything other than your thoughts. Consequently, you forget to connect with reality.

You like to create stories, tell them, and listen to them so you can compare them with those of others. This isn’t a bad thing. After all, life itself is a collection of stories. However, the problem begins when you feel the need to create stories about everything and you get confused. Reality isn’t a concept, reality is now. When you realize this, you’ll find peace.

“The future torments ourselves, the past holds ourselves, that is why the present escapes ourselves.”

-Gustave Flaubert-

owl pulling girls dress ribbon

Free yourself from the past and start living now

The worst thing about living in the past or constantly thinking about the future is that you’re giving up your inner power. If you don’t live in the now you’re giving up your life, you’re vetoing your ability to create, and you’re forgetting that only you have the opportunity to shape your life for your own emotional well-being.

If you need to make changes in your life to make it better, don’t wait any longer. Make them now. Only by starting to walk will you find your way. If you’re living in the past, you should know that you can’t do anything to change it. On the other hand, if you only care about the future, you can’t do anything to improve it unless you do it now, in the present. Therefore, if you want to live in peace with your past and have a better future, accept the reality that you have today.

It might seem difficult to live in the present, but you only have to break the chains of the past and stop predicting what might happen in the future. Work on your present. In this way, the past will just consist of good memories and the future will ultimately be the path you’re traveling.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.