Some of our readers have challenged my position that it’s better to let go of the past and live for the right now — the present. A little elaboration on my part may be necessary.
• When I recommend “let go of the past,” I am referring to the negative past. Don’t spend energy reliving times when you felt insulted. If you keep the insults in your present life, you are permitting the person who insulted you to be the winner after all is said and done.
• Let the old insults die a quiet death, never to rise again. If you haven’t already done it, drop the insulter from your social and emotional world.
• Old, dumb mistakes did their damage. Why hang on to the memory? Of course, you can’t control the past, but it can control you. Dumb mistakes can be great teachers if you change the behavior that created the dumb mistakes. Those who fail to learn from dumb mistakes or fail to change dumb behavior are doomed to repeat mistakes over and over.
• The Cherokees say, “When something is done … it is done … over with.” Quit riding the dead horse and move forward — not backwards.
• It’s fine to occasionally relive the positive past. Love and success from the past energize us and remind us of our worthiness and our potential to succeed. Don’t let go of the positive past. Embrace it and move forward.
• Buddhist thinking recommends that you don’t allow an old person to enter your body. If you invite oldness into your body, the invitation will be accepted.
• Buddhist thinking also stresses that you become what you think about all day long. Those who believe they are old, all day long, are right around the corner from requesting a cane or a walker.
• There is a Guatemalan statement that “Everyone is the age of their heart.” Create a joyful, young heart that advocates optimism and hope for the future. If your mind and your heart are youth-oriented, you will walk, talk and love with more energy and more enthusiasm. The kingdom of youthfulness is within us. Seek and believe in a younger inner self.
• It’s possible to be a good writer and a good tennis player in your 70s. I know several “young at heart” and “young in mind” people. They encourage all of us to be creative and to get out of the Lazy Boy chair. Their lifestyles inspire me.
• I believe it’s possible to be a hero in your own life. As long as you believe and maintain a younger attitude, there will be energy available to help others and to practice kindness daily. Be kind to yourself and accent the positive energy of youthful thinking.
• Heroes take charge. You decide with your heart and your mind if you are too old or young enough. When you are in charge, outside sources lose their powers. Your best friend resides inside you … listen to him or her.
• You are more than the illness or the aches and pains inside you. I have no doubt that my mind can help to heal whatever decides to attack me, including growing older.
• Abraham Lincoln said, “We are about as happy as we make up our minds to be.” Abe was right. You are the shot caller of your inner life. Have the confidence to seek your inner thoughts and move forward to a happier life … filled with youthful ambition.
• It has been written that the Buddha’s last statement was, “Be a light unto yourself.” Turn on your light; the party is not over!
Bob Billingsley is an El Dorado Hills resident and bi-weekly columnist at the Mountain Democrat.