“You are NOT your past actions. You are NOT your past failures. You are NOT how others have at one time treated you. You are ONLY who you think you are right now in this moment. You are ONLY what you do right now in this moment.” Karen Salmansohn in Enough, Damnit: A cynic’s guide to finally getting what you want out of life.
On the midlife divorce recovery road, we often don’t know how to get away from the past. In support groups, early on, I hear a lot about emotions caused by what happened in the past. And that’s completely normal. There’s a lot of not just sadness, anger and worry and fear, but rage, panic and despair. Those emotions are giving us important information. Let’s take anger/rage. Who and what are we really enraged about? Usually there is anger at ourselves for allowing ourselves to “waste” the best years of our lives on someone who in reality is “Just not that into us.” We are enraged at our wasbands for the destruction we see around us everywhere. There is anger at everything big and small that we have to deal with in response to our divorce. But at some point, we have to give it up. After figuring out why we’re angry and getting the message we need from our anger, and creating strategies to use it productively, at some point we have to give this particular anger up. I used to think I would always be angry about my own divorce on some level. But you do eventually figure out that continual anger about the same issue in our past destroys our present and makes a glorious future virtually impossible. The moment we should concentrate on is this precious shining moment. We have control over how this moment will be. We have absolutely no control over something that happened in our past. Do you want to waste one more moment on the past? You have a fantastic new life to create! You can choose to use this moment wisely… or not. One thing is sure; this shining moment will never come around again. Today is up to you.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13 (The Living Bible)