When we lose something in life, such as losing a job or losing a relationship, we run the real risk of getting stuck. Stuck looking back at what we had, stuck overanalyzing why we lost it, and stuck feeling sad about it being gone. If we allow ourselves to get stuck spending all of our time and attention on “what was” we make it impossible for life to show us that something better lies ahead, we aren’t able to recognize “what can be”.
“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”
We cannot live in the past because standing here today there is nothing we can do to change the past. It is what it was and that chapter is now closed. It is over. The words were already written on those pages.
“Growing from our past is productive…attempting to live there isn’t.” – McMillan
But what happens today, from this very minute on, well that is still a blank canvas waiting for you to lift up your pen and start writing. And the beauty is that you can write whatever you want in this new chapter…so don’t let those pages go to waste…start writing!
A few tips to help you move forward with the next chapter:
1. Find a little box of some sort and open it up. Then picture placing all of the emotions and memories that are holding you back into that box and close it tight. These things are now out of your head and heart for the time being and resting safely in your box. Now put the box somewhere safe where you know the things you placed it can stay until a period of time has passed (at the minimum one month…) when you will be able to reopen that box. Knowing it is somewhere safe will help you rest easy about leaving it there. You are now free of it for the time being so you can move ahead toward the future.
2. Pick a new project, any project. Just choose something you want to move forward on – it can be starting a new business idea, meeting new relationships, getting a new job, or learning a new hobby, or anything you want it to be. The important thing is to pick one.
3. Promise yourself that for at least one full month you are going to go all in on this project and do as much as you can with it.
The more you begin to move forward the more you will begin to notice new relationships will form and new opportunities will present themselves. The pains found in old chapters will be replaced with the excitement and anticipation of new ones because the best chapters of your life are yet to come.
~Amy Rees Anderson