“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.” – James Thurber
Easier said than done! Here’s the thing, backward-facing anger provokes negative expectations. Negative expectations provoke fear of repetition. Fear of repetition provokes self-fulfilling prophecy. Simply stated, when we hold onto the negativity of our past we tend to recreate it.
The same negativity inevitably creates the fundamental basis of our everyday attitudes and behaviors. We become “uncomfortably comfortable” with ongoing negativity and we pursue it. We live a life of repetitious disappointment and even the most hopeful of us despair. In a sense, we become our own worst nightmare. We never feel like we’re actually living because we exist in yesterday and tomorrow at the cost of today.
These thoughts bring me back to the quote. What I take away from it is that the present tense of our lives is the most important. Awareness is created by learning from and releasing past negativity. It’s created by opening our eyes, our arms, and our hearts to the reality that surrounds us. Releasing past negativity promotes present understanding and awareness of present reality.
The simple fact is that we can be masters of the moment and thus masters of our future. We have no reason to fear tomorrow. Discard past negativity, embrace present possibility, and look forward to everything that’s to come.