Living In Gratitude: Don’t Look Back

Don’t allow yesterday to take up too much of today.

Too often, we focus on the past and things that happened rather than focusing on the here and now. We beat ourselves up or worry about what could have been, what we should have said or done. Or, we dwell in the past, reliving what was and not living what is.

This is like reading the same chapter in a book again and again, not making progress because we never move forward.

We’ve all had things happen that we regret or wish we could change. Often, these lessons are very challenging and we continue to dwell on them, looking back and reexamining every facet of the situation and asking “What if?” 

What if I had taken that job or done better on that project?

What if I had helped that friend in need?

What if I hadn’t spent so much time working?

What if I hadn’t reacted in anger?

What if, what if, what if…. The list is an endless one if we allow it to be.

It’s okay to ask ourselves these questions as a way to acknowledge and accept our past so we can make a change for the better as we move forward.  But dwelling on all of our what ifs doesn’t allow us to participate in today.


If we keep always looking over our shoulder, looking back to what was, we never experience and appreciate what is happening right now. And therein lies a self-fulfilling prophecy as we continually let life pass us by.

The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.

The past is behind us for a reason. We can learn from and remember it (especially when it comes to recalling wonderful memories) but dwelling on the past or continually residing there doesn’t serve us. The future lies ahead and requires preparation, using our past as a stepping stone to grow as a person, making more informed choices. But most importantly, everything begins with the present moment. It is here, right now, offering up 24 new hours to live fully, love completely, laugh heartily and work toward being the very best person we can be.

The next time you find yourself looking behind you and dwelling on what was, acknowledge and be mindful of it, then turn your mind, heart and head to focus on the path before you.

One day at a time is enough. Don’t look back and grieve the past, it is gone. Don’t fret about the future, it hasn’t yet arrived. Live in the present and make it amazing.

May your days be filled with gratitude and good things.