Let go of the past – it’s merely something that happened

Some nights it can be difficult to quiet the mind. To silence a host of random thoughts, which prevent us from enjoying a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Such was the case last night.

After doing a little reading, my eyes grew heavy and I hoped I’d soon be drifting off to sleep and staying that way until the alarm went off the next morning. But after about an hour or so I found myself restless – lost in a never-ending stream of subconscious thoughts about the past.

Some were memorable – others were not. The majority seemed to hover in a grey area of neutrality. All in all I was unable to clear my mind of the constant distractions swirling around inside my head. When I did finally fall asleep (not long before my alarm went off) I was utterly exhausted from the circus going on in my subconscious.

In the book I Am Number Four, a young adult science fiction novel by Pittacus Lore (aka James Frey & Jobie Hughes), it’s said, “We don’t have to be defined by the things we did or didn’t do in our past. Some people allow themselves to be controlled by regret.”

Guilty as charged.

We all make the best decisions we can with the knowledge we have at the moment. While we hope those decisions will lead our life in a positive direction, that doesn’t always happen. Even after many years have passed, there are times when we’re still haunted by the regrets of our past. Those roads not taken and the ones we should have avoided all together.

Jan Glidewell, who contributed some 3,500 columns to the Tampa Bay Times during his illustrious career, once wrote, “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.”

You cannot change what’s in the past. Therefore you shouldn’t lament over it – it’s pointless. But what you can change is what happens next – where you go from here and what you’ll do to get there.

From I Am Number Four: “Maybe it’s a regret, maybe it’s not. It’s merely something that happened. Get over it.”