Why Bother Living Forward?

Why Bother Living Forward?

Someone once said, “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” Every day is a new day, a chance to begin again with a clean slate. Each new day gives me a fresh opportunity to live forward, not backward into the past. 

Grateful For A New Day

I used to be a worry wart who wanted to do everything “just right.” If anything “bad” happened, I told myself I should have foreseen it, I should have prevented it.  Anxiety, fretfulness and waiting for the other shoe to drop, was my “normal” setting. Maintaining the standard of perfection wore me down. It greeted me first thing in the morning and kept me awake through the night. It was a relentless task master whom I could never please. 

Then somehow, I woke up to the realization; striving toward an ideal and then analyzing how I’d failed to meet it, prevented me from living forward. Instead of beginning the day anticipating how I might do something a little better, I’d  drag all the previous day’s defects into the new day and hold myself in contempt. Finally, I made the decision to cut myself lose from condemning myself for my shortcomings and instead, began greeting each new day as a new beginning, a do over. 

I am not perfect by any means, but perfection is no longer my goal. I know my bents and I am familiar with my patterns of mistakes. Sometimes I say the wrong thing at the wrong time, get wrought up in the wrong things, and nag too much about trivial matters, which in the long run don’t matter.  Awareness of these tendencies is the first step toward healthy reflection and living forward instead of backward. 

I like to speak my mind and honesty is a virtue I value. But I cannot take back words already spoken. But, I can think before I speak. I know the topics which set off my passionate button, and raise my blood pressure. I can feel the energy rising up inside me when I want to defend a point. But, I can also prevent myself from stepping into those types of situations until a later date. I don’t always have to make a point when I think a point has to be made. Finally, not everything ever goes according to the best laid plans and when they don’t, flexibility with a cheerful attitude can keep things moving toward the right direction. 

Why bother living forward? It is worth living forward since we cannot change or remain in our past,  we can only learn from it.

2 thoughts on “Why Bother Living Forward?

  1. I loved this reminder to live forward not backwards. I have struggled with this issue for many years. The regrets and disillusionment from the past became my norm. Now I am learning to keep my focus directed forward and one day at a time. I am finding peace and grace in this new perspective.

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