Have you ever been somewhere and something you hear presses a button that catapults you into the past? Sometimes it’s a good memory, often times a bad one-something you’d rather forget but it continues to haunt you.
Often times you can repeat a mantra of sorts that someone told you that’s supposed to lift you out of the past and back into the present. Maybe something like “Move on…” (My personal ‘HATE IT’ phrase), or “It’s been months…” Well maybe for you. “Deal with it already…” And you’re supposed to be my friend?! These do not work and most of the time you just want someone to listen, not judge, not fix, not take the feeling away. (Well, honestly you might want them to take the feeling away).
There are times you may not divulge this lapse into the past when someone asks you why you’re sad or wistful because you don’t want to see their reactions, ‘oh, there she goes again…’ Even when you agree with your listeners of the ‘move on’ mantra it can still be hard to move out of the past and forward into the present..
So this was on my mind while I was walking my dog. Something clicked. When said trigger is pushed what if I can remember to repeat an acronym for ‘PAST?’
P: stay in the Present, it matters and can Point you in the direction you want to follow.
A: Accept and Acknowledge the trigger and Advance into your present and future.
S: Stuff or Sh*t happens and it happens to many many people, it’s not individual to you. Sack it.
T: Time is precious, finite, wonderful; don’t let it slip by while you’re in the back room rehashing the event.
Don’t let the past define you. A snippet from this poem says it well:
That our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are, but
we are responsible for who we have become.
This acronym isn’t appropriate for those who have faced loss of a loved one, but may be for those times when
the ghosts of the past resurrect and take up too much of your valuable time.A personal exercise, while you’re getting your physical exercise, might be to make up your own ‘ghostbuster.’ If you do, please share, we may all benefit.