138. You Can’t Change the Past

One of the traits of those who are depressed and anxious is to dwell on the past. Some examples:

  • “Why did I take that job ten years ago? It changed my life for the worse. I should have stayed where I was.”
  • “Why did I marry Jim? I would have been so much happier with Jack.”
  • “Every time I think about what my mother said to me when I was twelve years old, I go into depression.”

Friends, you can’t change the past. You can only deal with the present and the future. For those I coach who have a troubled past and ruminate on it most every day, I show them a simple technique of drawing a line in the sand. “Let what is in your past stay in the past. From this moment on, there is a new you. Step over the line and live your new life. And if you slip back into dwelling on the past, draw a new line and go one. Don’t think that you have failed. God is a God of a thousand chances.”

This technique also works for those who are alcoholics or abusive or overwhelmed by a sin from their past. Draw a line and move on. Live in a new world. Let the old world slip into the past and be done with it. Sound hard? No, it’s actually very easy. Just draw that line in the sand.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
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