Live Backwards

If only we could live our lives backwards. We’d be prepared for the unknowns. We’d be smart enough to have all the answers. We’d always know which turn would lead us to exactly where we want to be. We’d know when not to leave. And we’d know when to love a little harder, hug a little longer, and when the time for a final goodbye was nearing.

While it would be ideal to live our lives backwards, life doesn’t work that way. Instead, we must live our lives in the moment that is being presented to us and make our choices with the information we have available. And that’s not always easy. Life can be confusing, hard, scary, and often appear unfair.

Just when you think the gray skies have lifted, out of nowhere a summer storm appears. Things weren’t supposed to unfold that way. This isn’t how it was planned. Life wasn’t supposed to give us rain clouds on our beach day. We wanted clear, blue skies! But regardless of our plans or wants, the storm unexpectedly arrives… How we pass through that storm may not be quick, pretty, or how others may have done it, but the process is unique and individual. How we do it is perfect in our own way. In the end, all that matters is that you passed through it – not how you did it or how long it took.

When the unexpected hits, it can feel as if life stops. Everything you thought was important no longer matters. All that matters to you is dealing with the situation in front of you. If only you had known it was coming, and you’d know just how to handle it. Or if we could rewind time and live it again the way we prefer. But we can’t! We must live it now. We must deal with life as it comes to us. And it’s going to be unpredictable, messy, scary and difficult at times. And that’s ok.

It’s hard to be mad at the forward progression of life for that’s what makes up our beautiful days. But it is ok to be discouraged, sad or feel stalled. It’s ok to sometimes want to pull the covers up and hide for a day (or two), and it’s ok to leave your phone off for hours for no reason other than you just want to keep to yourself. In times like these, you second guess yourself and your decisions. You want a redo. You feel there is not enough time left or you want to right your wrongs, choose again or give a better answer. You wish we lived backwards. If only we did. But we don’t. Life doesn’t give you time to prepare, prep you with the right answers, give you a heads up, grant you the luxury of having a do over, or wink that you need to hug longer and love harder because these are your final days. Life only moves forward.

We don’t get to live backwards. The past can’t be changed, and the future remains unknown. The present moment is all we have, and we must learn to live it in the moment. As long as we’re moving forward (and we are), there is no wrong way to do it. Use the information available to you in the moment to make a clear decision, listen to your body, mind, and soul for they are always speaking, and above all love like it’s your last day every day.

You’ve survived all the storms of your past and that has given you the strength to pass through all those that are to come. We can’t live backwards.

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