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Living in the past

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Charles Ighele

Some people live a major part of their lives in the past. They are filled with thoughts of the bad things that happened to them in the past.

You may ask, how do you mean by living in the past?

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Ironically, while we are physically in the year 2021, working, eating, sleeping going to church, doing business, going to school, travelling, etc., a lot have their thoughts and minds on what happened to them in the immediate or remote past.

When someone is always in the habit of thinking of the bad things that happened to him/her, then such a person is said to be living in the past. People who live in the past always refer to events that happened in the past that have made them not to be successful, not to be married, not to be gainfully employed, not to be educated, etc. They bring events of the past to justify their present state.

These people think less of the victories and successes they have had in the past. What predominantly occupy their minds are the bad things they have encountered in the past. They are like the children of Israel who would rarely remember the victories, signs and wonders they got in the past. They only remembered the bad situations. People like these are always full of sorrows, complaints, excuses and are always seeking sympathy. They hardly make meaningful progress in their lives.

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They feel past hurts as though they just happened. Any time they remember those past hurts, they feel pained, some breakdown in tears crying or sobbing or wailing. Anytime they think of how they were jilted or cheated on by their ex, they cry. Anytime they remember how relatives or friends they helped in the past turned out to be rude to them or fight them, they lament. Any time they think of how they were duped by a supposed business partner or friend, they feel bad. At that moment, they can transfer aggression to their spouses or their children or neighbours or anyone around them.

What I have discovered is that many people who live in the past seldom make progress in their love lives and relationships. This is because they keep using their thinking energy to dig up hurtful past events and as such, they hardly give room for a new beginning. Typically, these people psychologically and emotionally live in the past.

Some people have lost good husbands, wives, relationships, etc. that would have helped them become who they want to be in life. Some have lost business deals because they were thinking of what happened to them in the previous business deals, which turned out to be unfruitful.

That you bit your tongue while eating dinner yesterday does not mean you should not eat dinner again. It is part of life. See whatever happened to you in the past as training in maturity and part of life. Whatever hurt, disappointment, loss, etc. that happened to you are just referencing points of learning in your journey of life. It may be that God wants to enable you to become emotionally mature, so as to know how to love people who logically do not deserve to be loved and helped again. Remember, Jesus taught us that we should pray for those who despitefully use us. (Matt 5:44) Move ahead with your life. There is more you can still achieve in life. What has happened has happened. You cannot undo the past. But you can use the past to improve yourself in wisdom, knowledge and in the growth of your ability to love those who do not ordinarily deserve to be loved. Loving such people is part of the height of Godly love. So, keep on loving. Love you.

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