Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in your present. – Karen Salmansohn
What does that mean?
This quote, to me, is about keeping the past in the past. It warns us against allowing the darkness, presumably a metaphor for less than helpful feelings, thoughts and emotions, to encroach on our present.
The quote also implies that the darkness can overshadow or block the light, presumably a metaphor for best feelings, thoughts and emotions, in our present. It warns about allowing the past to infringe on our present.
The quote also implies that we have some choice, some control over what the darkness of our past does to us in the present. We can allow it to diminish our joy, or we can keep ourselves strong and draw a line and not let it cross.
Why is taking joy important?
Well, given the quote, we can either let the darkness from the less than great times in our past intrude into our present, or we can keep the past as the past, and focus on the joy which is present in our lives in the present moment. That sounds like a fairly important result, and a fairly easy choice, at least to me.
Would you like to have your day darkened by something from long ago and far away, or would you like to let it go? While it is true that some decisions will cast shadows for some time, and that not everyone always makes the best decisions, we all have the choice of dwelling in the darkness of the past, or looking to a brighter future.
Yes, some options may no longer be available, but that is what life is full of, isn’t it? You had one thing for dinner, so you can’t have something else. At least not until tomorrow. If your dinner didn’t sit well, do you stop eating, or simply try to make better choices in the future? Will you let the darkness from yesterday’s dinner blot out the joy of tonight’s dinner?
Life is full of choices, and we can dwell on what is behind us, or we can dwell on what is around us. I know what I would prefer to do, but we each have our own choices to make. Taking in the joy of the present, or basking in the darkest of darkness from the past. Not that difficult a decision.
Where can I apply this in my life?
The longer version of the quote (see the bottom of the post) urges us to remember that what has happened is done, and to stop giving time, energy and attention to whatever happened then. We should learn from it and then, like an old book, put it back on the shelf. It is up to us to move on with our lives.
Or you can leave the book open to the worst thing that ever happened to you, and spend the rest of your life reading it over and over and over and over, until… well, let’s not go there. To quote a song, Let it Go! Learn from the experience and move on with your life. Let the darkness depart and let the bright light of joy shine in.
I have had some events in my past which some might consider to be of the kind which could cast darkness over your life. I got a divorce and bankruptcy at the same time. But I learned from those experiences. Yes, there were some pretty dark days, but that was when the experience was in my present.
As time progressed, and I learned more from the experiences, I started letting the events fade into the past. I let go of the darkness while retaining the lessons which led me there. By doing that, I transformed the events from terrible and dark, into important lessons which helped light the way forward.
Take a moment to look at your past. Are there dark areas back there? Have you dealt with them, and looked into what you could learn from them? Have you taken the time to say goodbye to them, and put them away? Or do you let them linger, free to come out and cast their darkness over your present situation?
Take a few moments to consider each dark place in your past, and see what it will take for you to learn from the experience and let it go. It may take a while to sort through the issues, but in my experience, it is worth the effort. Start with something fairly small and simple, and use it to “get your feet wet.”
We all have times and events in our past which could darken our present. It is up to us to leave those things firmly in the past. We must learn to limit their ability to darken our lives in the present.
From: Twitter, @tinybuddha
confirmed at : she quotes herself on her own web page, is that good enough?
photo by zeitfaenger.at
A slightly longer version of the quote: “Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in your present. What happened is done. Stop giving time to things which no longer exist, when there is so much joy to be found here and now.”