Living forwards


Life must be lived forwards, but it can be understood only backwards.

This is a quote from Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher and theologian, who lived over a century ago. Truth is timeless.

The past is not the present. If we allow thoughts of the past to consume us, we fail to live in the present – and our lives pass us by. This is when we dwell on the past, seeking to live in it (which of course is impossible to do but that doesn’t stop us trying perhaps!).

However our past can inform our present – our lives – if we choose to learn from it. Now we are not seeking to live in the past but to understand things that have happened in the past so that we can indeed let the past be the past. But we also want to apply any learning we can both to how we live now and how we plan for the future.

When we find no joy in the present, it may be a symptom – a sign – that we have unresolved matters from the past. These matters can rob us – steal – the joy of the present moment.

Seeking to understand our past may be complicated – seemingly at times impossible – and it won’t be a one hit kind of thing either. However armed with courage and compassion for ourselves and others there is joy in the present as a reward.

This is Mindful Monday on 1 July 2019.

Join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer for an evening of mindfulness next Monday 8 July at 7.30 pm at the Oasis in Cheltenham. We will be looking at how to live in the present while also learning from the past, exploring snippets of a story from the book The Present: the gift that makes you happy and successful at work and in life by Spencer Johnson.

Book your place by emailing

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