Embracing the Full Spectrum of Life

Mar 16 , 2024
By Eden Sahle

Building a life with my husband and daughter brings immense joy, yet occasional waves of nostalgia wash over me. The loss of my father and close friends leaves a void, prompting me to reminisce about a seemingly simpler time.

Like many, I find myself yearning for the "good old days" – a period where responsibilities were fewer, and the future seemed full of endless possibilities. However, research suggests this perception is skewed by psychological biases.

There is a tendency to harbour a longing for the past, convinced it was an era of unparalleled bliss. Many including myself romanticise our childhood and adolescent years, reminiscing about a time when everything seemed simpler and brighter.

Yet, some studies caution us against this tendency to glorify the past, attributing it to psychological biases such as loss aversion and selective memory. While it is easy to convince ourselves that everything was better before, the reality is more nuanced. Despite the tragedies we encounter along life's journey, progress continues to unfold steadily with each passing year.

The human mind has a peculiar habit of filtering out the unpleasant aspects of the past, leaving behind fond memories. We tend to reminisce about the happier times, conveniently forgetting the hardships we faced. This selective storytelling only serves to reinforce our nostalgia for bygone eras. In truth, the past was not always as idyllic as we remember. Often, the only redeeming quality of the past is that it is behind us. Hindsight has a way of painting the past in a rosier hue than it truly was, obscuring the challenges we once faced.

Our perception of past experiences is skewed towards positivity in retrospect. The tendency to dwell on present hardships while glorifying the past perpetuates the belief that life is on a downward trajectory. This mindset gives way to a pessimistic outlook on the future, convincing us that things will only worsen with time. It is a cyclical pattern of longing for the past, lamenting the present, and fearing the future.

Every season of life has its share of triumphs and tribulations. We can draw inspiration from our fondest memories to propel us forward, infusing our present with ambition and hope for the future. Reflecting on past hardships reminds us of our strength and fortitude, empowering us to navigate the present with grace.

While acknowledging the pain of loss, I have learned to cherish the memories of loved ones. My father's wisdom and my friends' laughter continue to enrich my life. These memories serve as a source of strength and inspiration, reminding me of the profound bonds I shared.

I decided to honour my father's memory by donating cash to those that need medical treatment, funeral arrangement and support women in need. It was a cause he deeply cared about. This act allowed me to not only connect with him through shared values but also create new meaningful moments in the present.

Life unfolds in the present. Dwelling on the past or fearing the future can hinder our ability to experience the richness of the here and now. Living fully in the present moment requires conscious effort. Techniques like mindfulness meditation can help anchor us in the "now," allowing us to appreciate the simple joys of everyday life. Gratitude plays a crucial role in embracing the present. Focusing on the blessings in our lives, like the love of our family and the beauty of nature, brings a sense of contentment and well-being.

Life's journey is a continuous cycle of seasons, each bringing its own set of experiences. By acknowledging the joys and sorrows of the past, cherishing the present moment, and approaching the future with open arms, we nurture a life filled with meaning and purpose.

PUBLISHED ON Mar 16,2024 [ VOL 24 , NO 1246]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at edensah2000@gmail.com.

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