By Greg Malouf
A big part of spirituality – and my own spiritual practice and teaching – has to do with living in the present moment. That’s because it is a crucial element of true happiness. And yet, so many people are living in the past. You may not even realize when you do it, or the extent to which you do it.
If I were to ask you to sit down and make a list of all your regrets, chances are it wouldn’t take you long to fill up a page, or several pages. The things you did and wish you hadn’t; the things you didn’t do and wish you had. The things you wasted time, energy, or money on. The relationships you squandered. The events you wish had unfolded differently. The choices you made that, in retrospect, seem misguided or harmful. All the ways you forfeited control and let things just happen to you. All the ways you exerted control in a harmful way. The things you’ve said that you wish you could take back. The things left unsaid. The list could go on and on and on.
One clear fact is that you can’t change something that’s in the past. Until someone invents a time machine, there is no way to undo or redo something. But there is a way to change the impact that the past has on your present.