Dr. Rich Patterson

What’s Next?

At the end of the movie Geostorm, there is a line that says, “You can’t relive the past, all you can do is face what’s next.”  I was particularly struck by the way this thought is worded.  We’ve heard versions of it before, but there was something about facing what’s next that resonated with me. Do you get stuck sometimes on something that happened in the past?  Maybe it was a mistake that you made–years ago.  Or maybe it was something somebody said or did to you that just seems to pop into your head when you least expect it.  It just won’t go away.

Sometimes I wake up at night, for no good reason, out of a sound sleep.  I quickly realize it isn’t morning and try not to look at the clock–I often fail here.  Then suddenly, I have a life review going on.  You know, every mistake I’ve ever made in the past comes back in full force.  What?  Where does that come from, and why now?  At times I can laugh about it and get myself back to sleep.  But other times, it is a natural sequence that plays over and over.

We all make mistakes and have moments when we indeed were not our best.  We all struggle as well with something in our lives…no one escapes that.  So when you’re ready to judge yourself next time, remember that the past is a parade of events that are going by you while you stand on the curb and watch the floats or adverse events in your life parade by you.  Then remind yourself that all you can do is face what’s next.  Then begin to think about the next thing as what you want to have happened.

Rewrite the past event in your head and see yourself handling it positively so that that the next time you face something like it in your life, you can say, OK, I’ve been here before, and I know what to do now.  We can’t relive the past; all we can do is to face what’s next!  (Geostorm).