There are moments in our lives that tend to stick out more than others. When we look back, these are the kinds of memories that can either lift us up, or they can bring us down. It’s hard to stop living in the past, particularly when our present life looks so different from all that came before.
It’s important to keep building your life. Just because you’ve retired, doesn’t mean there’s nothing new to live for. Now, more than ever, you can create a big, happy life. To do that, you have to let go of the past. Here are some tips to start living in the present
Identify Your Feelings
Sometimes when we can’t let go of the past it’s because we haven’t reconciled with some other feeling. Maybe you were very accomplished in your working years, and now you feel worthless, or perhaps you experienced a tragedy that you’re still grieving over. Whatever it is, tap into your emotions, and then let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling. There’s no shame in crying, we all do it from time to time.
Once you know why you cling to the past, it’s a lot easier to move forward into the present. Keep acknowledging your feelings. You don’t get to experience them just once, good or bad, it takes time to adjust. Identify negative feelings, experience them, but be sure to let them go, too.
Be the Hero, Not the Victim
Our feelings can come from all kinds of incidents. The situation that’s particularly hard to get over is the one that’s not your fault. And it’s not! There are a number of reasons you may feel victimized – someone took something from you, or you lost a loved one, or maybe you lost your job and, therefore, a good income. It’s important to note that this has already happened, and it’s time to overcome and be the person you’d like to be, and not the person who suffered. It’s hard, but you can do it – be a hero.
Don’t Let the Past Become the Present
Do you talk about what happened yesterday, or last decade? If it’s the latter, you’re not living for today. Grudges with family or friends have no place in our golden years. Move on, it helps nothing to dwell on angry feelings. If you need to reconcile, reach out, and if that person won’t accept your olive branch, then, unfortunately, it may mean you have to disconnect from them. The idea is, move on.
The same goes for memories. Is your house still decorated with your children’s art? Are there photos on the mantle that pull at your heart? You don’t have to throw away keepsakes, just put them away. If you live for today, the past shouldn’t be haunting you.
What makes you happy? Those cheerful memories you like to think about can find their way into your present life, too. You just need to adjust your world to include that kind of happiness. Do you love golf, but you have a knee problem so you can’t play anymore? Take up croquet, or get your friends together to watch tournaments as a group. For any situation, it’s a great idea to reach out to friends with similar interests. Chances are, your friends have the same trouble as you, and together you can help each other and find some new fun interests.
Don’t want to reach out? Think about whenever someone comes to you and how nice it feels. It’s not only polite to reciprocate, but it’ll make your friend feel good about themselves. And the more you do it, the less it will feel like work.
Control Your Life
Every day is a new day for you to enjoy. It’s an opportunity to take your loves and passions and experience them. Think things through. What would you like your world to look like? If something upsetting happens, and it will, this is life, take it in, but don’t let your world come to a screeching halt. You can still grieve and live a fulfilling life. The happiest people are those who live in the moment. Take control of your life – it’s yours to live each day, however you please. Enjoy it!