Video Discussion: Prisoner of Your Past

Hi everyone, for this video discussion I thought I’d try something a bit different. Instead of watching and hearing someone explain the topic, I thought that it would be nice to try some reflection and then do the discussion.

The video has just a quote and some background music. You can reloop the video for the music if it makes it easier for you to think. If you want to use other music, go ahead.

Now that you have reflected on the quote, how do you feel? Does this quote hit home for you? Do you know someone who is a prisoner of their past? Were you once a prisoner of your past mistakes?

Prisoners of Our Past Why?

It’s not always easy to break free from our past. Sometimes people don’t know that they’re living their daily lives, though in the present, the mindset is in the past.

Mistakes, wrong choices, setbacks, not forgiving others, or not forgiving onself are some reasons why people are prisoners of their past. People can be smart, kind, and wise, but things change when something bad happens to them whether it’s by someone else, something else, or by their own free will. Now people will go through the storm and come out of it. However that’s not always the end of the story.

During that storm, people sometimes bury or try to bury something bad that happened to them that they don’t want anyone else to know. They are told to toughen up, smile, or act like it never happened and move on. Yet they deal with various emotions like regret, guilt, jealously, unwanted stress, or sadness. In some cases, people will succumb to depression or other bad habits and sometimes not realize it like unhealthy eating or drugs.

Other cases though, people will not want to forgive someone else who did them wrong. This can keep them stuck in that past hurt. Someone who hurt a family member, a friend, or someone close to them can be stuck in that past hurt because they are unable to forgive themselves.

Forgiveness can be Freedom

One way to help break free from being a prisoner of your past is forgiveness. I have talked about forgiveness before and forgiving yourself of past mistakes is the first step toward healing and truly moving forward. You acknowledge your mistakes, you see them as life lessons in which you learn from, and you free yourself from your prison.

Forgiving others is different. We are directly or indirectly taught that we shouldn’t forgive others who did us wrong. We wind up holding a grudge which can affect and change our way of living and thinking in ways that can be unhealthy. Remember forgiving someone doesn’t mean that your justifying or exonerating what they did to you, it means that your not going to be hindered by that hurt any longer. Your not going to let that hurt dictate every decision you make. Your not going to let that other person or people have power over you anymore. You accept and acknowledge what happened, you forgive the other person, and then you truly move on.

Both scenarios show that forgiveness toward yourself and toward others is the first step toward healing, fixing things, making things better in your life, and maybe in other people’s lives as well.

Wrap Up

Being a prisoner of your past happens to even good people. Some know it and some don’t. Your not alone if you felt this way or are currently feeling this way. There are people all over the world who are prisoners of their past. Maybe the waiter who served you last week is a prisoner of his past. Maybe that server at Starbucks, the person right beside you, the person who is always happy, or your closest friend who is like a sibling to you are prisoners of their past.

You can break free from this. It will take some time and effort, but you can take the first step and start making and living a better life you deserve. You are worthy of love, respect, kindness, and peace of mind.

Reflecting on life can be scary, but it can be beneficial and enriching. I hope that when you reflected earlier when watching the video, you realized some things that you need in your life and/or no longer need in your life.

Take care, stay safe and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

Unknown Future, Regrets in the Past, Live in the Present

Our future is something that has been on our mind at some point.  We think about the next day, week, month, and year.  We try to plan things far out in advance and sometimes life says otherwise.  Sometimes not knowing the future can be scary.

There are people who map put there future.  They map out when they will graduate college and grad school.  They map out their career path, what age they want to get married, if their going to move somewhere new, how many kids they want to have, the age and year they want to retire, when they want to buy a house, etc.  There are people who try to map these things out, but you if noticed map out how old they want to be when they achieve one of those goals and what year it should happen.

It’s all right to have goals and plans like finishing college, having a career, wanting to get married and have kids, and living on your own.  Trying to map out every precise and specific detail can become stressful and no fun.  I have mentioned the unknown factor before and that can happen at any point in your life.  It can help and ruin well thought out plans.

When our plans get ruined or we don’t have a plan, that’s when the future can be scary.  We don’t have anything to work toward or have something to look forward to we can become lost, confused, stressed, and fearful about the future.

Past Regrets

We have a tendency to look back at our past sometimes seeking answers to our questions or when we do some soul searching.  Sometimes however we get caught up in our past mistakes and regrets.  Sometimes this just happens or we do it to ourselves intentionally. 

We sometimes dwell on those things thinking what different about outcomes could have happened or what we could have done different. 

In the back of our mind, we believe that we can undo every one of them especially the big ones.  In some cases we can, and in some cases we can’t.

Savor the Present

‘Live like there’s no tomorrow’ is another saying that we have heard at some point in our lives.  Living and savoring the moment can be difficult for some people to do.  Some people believe that they have to be doing something every moment of everyday. 

Instead of looking ahead, take a moment to look around your current surroundings.  Are you outside?  Look up at the sky and take that in.  Are you in your living room?  Try putting down and turning off all electronic devices and just sit in silence.  If your laying on your bed, turn everything off and take some slow deep breaths.

Did something good happen to you?  Did you relish that moment, that good feeling?  If you did that’s wonderful.   If you didn’t and were thinking about something else, it’s ok; I’ve done that myself.  I was thinking about the next thing I was going to do or question that compliment.

Advice and Tips

Here’s some advice and tips on how to balance the past, present, and future:

  • Take each day one day at a time
  • You don’t have tomorrow’s energy; you only have enough for today
  • It’s ok to not be ok.  You don’t need everything single thing in your life to be mapped out right now
  • You can add things, make changes along the way, and things can still be fine
  • Learn from your past and look forward and right in front of you
  • Forgive those who wronged you or forgive yourself
  • Be grateful for what you have
  • Appreciate the good people in your life
  • Dream about the future, but focus on what you can do today
  • Look back at past achievements, but don’t dwell on them

Wrap Up

Like Ferris Buehler once said “Life moves very fast.  If you don’t stop to look around once in awhile, you could miss it”.  It’s ok to think about your future.  It’s all right to make plans for your future.  You can have a general idea and be all right.  Where people make the mistake is that they try to map out very specifics details in a specific and sometimes condensed time frame.  They dwell on those plans for a majority of their day and sometimes neglect their health and friends and family.  They hope nothing unexpected will happen otherwise they believe everything can fall apart and chaos will rule their lives.

It’s all right to look back in your past to understand your roots.  What people fall victim to is getting caught up in those regrets and mistakes where they dwell on them and feel bad afterwards.  They try to change things that already happened to them in the hope that the outcome will change even if a lot of time has gone by.

Living in the present is one thing, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think ahead or make any plans for your future.  You can plan out your day like things to do in the morning, what you want to do after school or work, or what your having for dinner tonight.  If we want to change something about ourselves that we don’t like and is hurtful to others, sometimes we need to look back to our past to find where things started and work there.

Enjoy those good moments, accept those compliments, and remember it’s ok to stop and do nothing.  Take care of yourselves, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.