Humans have this tendency to hold onto things. Whether it's a childhood toy or deep emotional scars from our past, we cling for dear life.
Why are we so bent on holding onto our past? What makes us think we need that toy or that photo? Is there really some magic in it that's going to automatically make our current life okay? I'd argue that holding on only brings us more pain and suffering. I think holding on makes us miss out, which in turn makes us want to hold on even more.
The past reminds us that things have happened. It's good to be aware of it for growth purposes, but if you're stuck in it, there's no way to move on. You'll be stuck forever if that's your focus.
When we hold onto things, we aren't embracing the moment. We aren't looking at things in real time. So when the moment passes, suddenly we want it back. We miss it desperately. But it's already gone.
We chase after that feeling again and again because we didn't soak it up the first time. We want to go back in time because we didn't get enough of that moment when we were focused on the past that came before it. That's how you get stuck in a vicious cycle of always being focused on what was.
By not looking at where you are, you aren't experiencing things in full. You're only half there. Your mind is focused on something else, and you miss the moment right in front of you. When the moment is over, you focus on it, but it's already gone.
If you want to overcome regret and feelings of missing out, you have to focus on the moment, not the past. You have to dive into where you are and not cling to where you were.
When you fully experience a moment in time, you won't want it back again.
You'll have already soaked it up and fully charged yourself with it. You can then be thankful that new moments are on the way. But when we don't focus on the moment, we miss its point. We miss the fulfillment it brings, and we long for the chance to re-do it.
Being in the moment means you're fully aware of it. You're not thinking about going elsewhere or what's different about this moment from the last. You are enjoying it, and instead of feeling lost and out of control, you can feel at peace.
The most important thing we learn as we age is that time doesn't stop. We can either continue to feel upset that we missed out, or focus on making sure we never miss out again.
I know my answer; do you know yours?
Be present and focus on the moment. Get everything you can out of it before it slips away and then be ready for the next one. Because I promise each moment will be better than the last.