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Past, Present and Future Which Is More Important To You?

Past, present, and future which is more important to you?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  You can’t change the past; you can just reinforce the effect that it has on you in the present and thus on the future.  Have you ever thought I can never live that down?  Do you realize that the person who hurt you has long forgotten about what they did and maybe even didn’t know or care at the time if your feelings were hurt?  The longer some people live, the more they have to regret.  Soon your memory is clogged with memories of the past leaving no room for the present or the future.  How many stories have you had repeatedly told to you by someone about their unhappy or unfortunate past?

Things of the present in front of the people o...

Things of the present in front of the people of the future (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or of the past, present, and future, is the future more important to you?  You may feel you have to be prepared for what misfortune the future might bring.  Worry can eat at your guts and tear at your insides and because of this are you really any more prepared when and if disaster does strike?  Yes, it might be silly or stupid to not plan at all for the future; but anxiety often does not help you to be anymore prepared for it.  In fact, anxiety can cause you to procrastinate in doing so and to wind up even more unprepared than you would have been.

Perhaps disaster does strike in the present moment.  Would you have paid an even bigger price if you had lived your life up to that point filled with dread for what might happen?  How many horrible things were created and experienced by your fertile mind when you could have been possiblely concentrating on the unspoiled peace and tranquility of the present moment?  In fact some people feel that the contents of your present thoughts have a lot to do with what will happen in the future, not only in a negative way, but also in a positive way.

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Recreating Your World, An End to Negativity

alwaysrememberfocusDo you know how much time we waste dreaming up worst case scenarios that fuel our negativity?  I do.  I have a family member who does that and on top of it he/she still practices the false belief syndrome of adolescence (that he/she always will get a raw deal in life) even though he/she is past thirty years old.  What you see is what you get.  Have you ever stopped yourself from doing this?  Have you ever thought for a moment and pictured a different scenario, one with a happy ending.  How does the scenario in your head affect your behavior, do you think it might mess you up, make you more anxious or less anxious?  Your view of whether you can succeed or not may control the amount of effort you put into something because you are thinking,”I won’t get it anyway?”  Do you prepare less?  Are you more careless with your responses?

Do we ever spend more time thinking or talking about how we would like something to be than about how we are afraid things might turn out creating more negativity?  Occasionally we might play the game of spending a million dollars in our heads.  Yes, we can have fun with that; but take it further.  If something is broken imagine it fixed or even replaced or even better yet replaced by something even better.

develop-realistic-expectationWe are forever putting what we call realistic limits on our imaginations.  We think this is not creating negativity, this is thinking realistically.  Did you ever do this as a child?  No, the more fantastic the better.  Didn’t you once think (like I did) that there were things in the White House that were so advanced and fabulous that even the rich and famous did not have them yet.  I figured the president could have anything he or she wanted and he or she would be the first one to get one when a prototype was made.

Have you ever in a prayer asked God for something or for something even better (letting God, not you, put limits on what you have asked for)?  There we are back in the cycle of negativity.  I have personally experienced remodeling and adding on to a house and then picking out the perfect floor plan and specifics for the purchase of  a double-wide.  In the first case, I drew a lot of plans.  One of which eventually became the basis for a new addition.  In the other case, I collected a lot of brochures and looked at a lot of double-wides by different manufacturers.  When I started doing both of these things, there had been no plans made to do either.  Initially I was just “wishbooking” (a term for what people used to do when they first got their Sears-Roebuck catalogs).

miracle-1In this economy, it sometimes seems hopeless to wish for the best possible thing to happen and then waste your time planning for it.  It is easy to create negativity. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find,” says the Bible.  If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know when you get it?  Women, would you let someone else plan your wedding without any of your recommendations and also not be able to make any of the decisions?  Men, would you want to go on a hunting or fishing trip or a photographic safari without any control over where you will be going and what you will be doing?

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Fear Not There Is Nothing To Fear But….

Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and Fear

Where do anxiety and fear come from?
They are a result of a person’s striving for survival.  Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable.  If their parents’ reject them, everything they need and come to expect in their life is threatened.  Parents are so busy telling children what to do, socializing them, and teaching them what to do that they neglect the child’s need for love and approval because they don’t want to spoil them.  Self assertion is seen as something children have to have drummed out of them if they are to become civilized.

We are anxious because we fear we will fail and as anybody knows, failure hurts and it eats at your very soul.  No matter how confident we are when we start out to do something, it only takes one dismal failure to stop us from trying again.  One dismal failure that you think you will never live down and you think that will effect your future forever.  All you have to do is believe that.

When you try again (and some of us never do), anxiety and fear will haunt you and eat at your self-confidence.  You don’t have to let it, but it is not easy to do.  In the excitement of getting a second chance, you let go of your worries and fly; but you soon will crash if you leave no allowance for the misgivings that will arise.  In today’s world, in this economy, many people are in this position.  Not having a job can make you unemployable.  This is impossible if you need to already have a job in order to get another one.

Dream the impossible dream and focus on what still might happen, the best possible outcome.  Is it that you’re not having had a job won’t matter because they are so interested in you and what you have to offer?  Don’t let the anxiety and fear that you naturally have in the situation keep you from getting the position and doing the best job you can.  You may not fail because you are a failure, but because you let it effect your self-confidence too much.



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Facing Your Past Anxieties


Anxiety (Photo credit: Joana Roja – work and migraines – coming back..)

Facing your past anxieties is difficult.  Just when you think you have faced them all, something new comes up.  I become down right unreasonable, short with other people, and reclusive.  Anything you are afraid of facing like being unsure about your self, damaging a relationship, etc. can occur.

I have been fighting it rigorously for the past five years with mindfulness and meditation.  These two techniques can help you in facing your past anxieties, but they can’t eliminate them all.

You ultimately have to form your own theories about psychology and then begin to implement them and see if they work.  I have been cultivating a positive attitude and am working on being less judgmental of myself and others.  Working on yourself is important whether you do it with a form of self-help or you do it in a group or you do it with a therapist or counselor.  Some people find that their religious beliefs do this for them.


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You Think Too Much

A friend told me, “You think too much.”  Well, I guess maybe I do.  It does kill the spontaneity of the moment.    Maybe it comes from hearing, “What did you do that for?” too much.  Also I am always wondering as I vacillate over making a choice,  if I will regret it later.”  I always have that trouble in restaurants when I am with somebody else. I think that I will wish that I had ordered what the other person did.  That’s why people are always waiting for me to order.

That used to fit the definition of a neurotic.  Someone who’s own behavior bothers them.  A neurotic feels psychological pain about what they are about to do or have done.  Guilt, worry, anxiety, shame are the often worthless emotions that make people miserable without doing anything about the problems they are feeling bad about.  These emotions can make a person stop and think instead of acting which can be good or bad.

As usual, there is a middle way. As impulsive, hedonistic, sometimes even psychopathic people act first, think later.  But you can get so tied up thinking about, “what if’s” that you don’t make a decision and that is a decision in and of itself.  Thus both extreme approaches backfire.

Without Regret

Without Regret (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Appreciate Things

Photo of a slice of coconut cream pie. Taken a...

Photo of a slice of coconut cream pie. Taken at the Golden Nugget Restaurant, Chicago, Ill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many things once thought useless have been found to be invaluable.  The world is fearfully and wonderfully made.  It is like brussel sprouts which you might not like and somebody else finds delicious.  There is even the possibility that sometime in your life you might change your mind.  I did about coconut.  Initially I would scrape off coconut on top of cakes and when I bit into a chocolate from a box of candies and found I had gotten one with coconut inside, I would spit it out.  Then I discovered German chocolate cake with pecans and coconut flakes in the frosting and creamy coconut spread from Florida.  Now I will even eat one slice of coconut cream pie.  Basically I have found I like coconut flavor, not so much coconut in the form of flakes.  Give yourself a chance, give someone else a chance, the world comes in a lot of flavors.  You may be missing something.

Don’t say I’ll  never or you might have to eat your words.  I said I would never work in a nursing home or with the mentally retarded.  Guess what happened?  I had to eat my words.  I was afraid of death after an unfortunate experience as a child and then I wound up helping lay someone out who had died where I worked and visiting the embalming room of a funeral home.


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Anxiety - Stress ... Time management vital for...

Anxiety - Stress ... Time management vital for finals -- cancel your Netflix subscription (7:45 PM, Nov. 28, 2012) ...item 2b.. Muddy Waters - After The Rain - Full Album (1969) ... (Photo credit: marsmet481)

Do you find somethings hard to deal with in life because you get anxious when you think about them?  These things don’t inherently make you anxious.  Something had to happen that was associated with them which taught you to be anxious when you have to do something with them.

Money, I thought, was dealt with constructively in my family growing up.  When my mother shopped, she always had a budget to follow even if that meant she didn’t get some things that she wanted that week.  My parents also got around the dining room table to pay the big bills together once a month.  Oh, yes there were some arguments when my dad would help his family (mother, brothers, and sisters) out and my mom was worried that we didn’t have the money to do that and that it wouldn’t get paid back.  I never did without when it came to the important things and I always had three hots and a cot (just joking).  Also in those days, there weren’t the TV advertisements that we have now that create desires for things we think everybody should have.

You get your first sense of security in your family of origin.  It is there that your needs are met or not met.  Although my parents were very practical about money and we never did without that I can remember, still there was some anxiety about the whole subject.  The great depression had just ended and it had had to have made an impression on almost everybody who experienced it.  We didn’t have a welfare state and family members were expected to help out family members in need.

Dealing with money still makes me anxious and I would avoid bill paying if I could, but I have learned through experience that not dealing with something can make for even bigger problems in the long run.  I keep a much closer track of my money than I used to.  Even with these better money handling habits,  I still get antsy about dealing with it.

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respect (Photo credit: Heliøs)

Respect all things.  Do you see beauty in everything?  Have you ever destroyed something that somebody else put a lot of time and energy into?  Have we become a destructive society?  I am not suggesting that you become a hoarder; but that you value what you have around you.   What is so much fun about mindless destruction?

It seems like we don’t value things, we don’t value people, we don’t value animals.  Where are we going?  It is unnatural to harm and kill others.  Or where else does post traumatic stress come from if this doesn’t bother us?  We (including plants and animals) are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We don’t respect ourselves?  We take part in hazardous sports.  We exercise to the point where it harms our bodies.  We are now finding out that excessive running and being in marathons can damage the heart which is to begin with a muscle.  You can overwork your body especially if you become addicted to the high you get from exercising.  It’s not that it doesn’t feel good to do some movement and it up to a certain point makes you healthier.  There’s the feeling of relaxation and accomplishment that  you get afterwards when you stop to rest.

Don’t put yourself down.  Don’t let others put you down.  Teach your children to respect themselves and others.  Build people up.  Don’t tear them down.  Why do we get a high from feeling better than someone else?  Our chief competitors should be ourselves.

Yes, there is danger out there and we need to learn to respect that too.  We have to evaluate our world and to protect ourselves from people who don’t respect human or animal rights.




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Put the Best Construction on Everything

Yes Drama

Yes Drama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old sayings have their uses.  If someone fails to do something you thought they were going to do for you, you often think the worst of them.  That can hurt both of you.  It can lead to some major drama.  A surprise party planned where one is the guest of honor  initially looks like the event has been forgotten to the person involved.  There often is enough drama in our lives without us adding more to it.  An appliance needs a major repair or replacement; your child gets hurt at school; or you make a major miscalculation when you are paying your bills.  All of these things are frequently cause for drama, both real and imaginary, before the crisis is resolved.  Who needs more drama when you are not sure what is going on.

Thinking the worst about someone or something before you know what really happened is creating additional stress for yourself.  Yes, you should be cautious and wait until all the information is gathered before jumping to conclusions, especially if you might do something drastic if you don’t wait.  Of course, there are somethings that can’t wait when dealing with an emergency.  For example, if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, don’t be too quick to dismiss it as something like an anxiety attack.  You better be safe than sorry especially with heart problems.  The time span during which action must be taken in these cases is short.

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When You Can’t Seem To Make Up Your Mind


Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

When you have mixed feelings about doing something, you almost always vacillate between wanting to do something and not wanting to do something.  What happens is that often the farther away you are from something, the more desirable it seems and the closer you are to something, the less desirable it seems.  This can even be seen in the behavior of experimental rats.  As they approach the desired but feared goal, they begin to slow down while when they were further away from the goal, they went faster.  Take doing your income tax.  You may be motivated to get them done because of the tax refund that you will get.  You know that doing your income tax is a lot of work and potentially involves a lot of frustration. When you get started collecting the needed papers, you may realize that some are missing and have to be found. Finding these papers can be a slow, tedious process which you do not like to do.

Having a baby can also involve mixed feelings.  Little babies are so cute and cuddly and you just can’t wait until you hold yours in your arms.  Then (and especially if you have done this before) the due date gets closer and closer and it soon will be time for the child to be born.  No mother looks forward to the pain and anxiety of childbirth especially if she has done it before. Also childbirth is not something you can back out of at the last minute while with taxes you can apply for more time to get them done.  The only problem is that the longer you put something off, the bigger job it becomes.  Papers get lost or misplaced. Things you need to remember to do the past year’s taxes get forgotten and their place gets taken by new information that you acquire during the current year about the present year’s taxes.

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