The older I get, the more this seems the only way to exist. There was a time when my family was known as the “remember when” family. We spent a lot of time remembering when things happened and when you have kids that is not difficult as they give you so much to remember.
Those memories so often bring you a sense of joy and laughter recalling the various acts committed by different family members and its good to know you have a history and one that is worth recalling.
But as I age the past is something so easily looked back on, but the future is where expectation lies. There is an urge to write it all down and leave a written account for future generations, and I’ve started doing some of that.
The problem with looking backwards is you not only have the good stuff to consider, but the bad is also there lingering in the shadows and ever ready to raise its ugly head.
For some, the bad in their lives can be a reason to never move on, but you have to find a reason to do so as you can then embrace all the future may have in store for you.
Aging brings with it the perils of your body deciding it’s had enough of your youthful ways and finds reason for you to slow down and contemplate the next chapter in your life, whatever that might be.
No matter what there is that urge to keep living. We look forward; we live forward because there is so much we still want to do. Our children have grown up and provide us with never-ending adventures, be they good or bad, but ones in which we participate willingly because we see our children as extensions of ourselves. They, in turn, provide us with grandchildren, a generation that is instantly exciting and exhilarating, what is there not to look forward to. (Especially the returning of them to their own homes after a long day with Grandad.)
I find I have a similar outlook when it comes to death. It draws closer every day, it is inevitable, no matter how many drugs I take, as Ekhardt Tolle says:
“Everybody suffers from a fatal affliction, called time, and eventually it will kill you.”
So is it possible to look forward to such an event?
As inevitable as it is you can view it as something everyone has to deal with and deal with it because our mortal bodies only have a limited time in which to function for us.
What happens beyond this life is conjectural. Some say there is nothing, others say there is something, but it is beyond our comprehension as to what it is.
No matter what it might be, heaven or hell, (though I tend to think earthly lives are as close to hell as I could imagine) to believe all this has been in vain would be very disappointing.
The disappointment lies in leaving those we love and in accepting their leaving when it happens to us.
So I think to live forward, look backward is an excellent way of thinking about life. Our past gives us our story; our future gives us the expectation of weaving our story further.
Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/reenas-exploration-challenge-76/
Excellent analysis! The image and Eckhart Tolle quote are outstanding. I also like your thought about life on earth being close to hell, and so much effort not going to waste ☺.
Thanks Reena I appreciate your kind words
Reblogged this on Reena Saxena and commented:
Living forward, looking backward ……. by Michael
Human beings can’t stop looking backward sometimes. Truly said ‘ live forward, look backward is an excellent way of thinking about life. Our past gives us our story; our future gives us the expectation of weaving our story further.’
You explain in a very simple way. Loved it.
Thanks so much indira. Glad you enjoyed this piece
I mentally ticked boxes as I read through this. Yep, yep, yep, oh, and that reminds me of my dad.
Aged 96 he wrote what he called his memoirs, which mostly focused on his experiences in WWII, And now he’s looking forward to next year when he’s eligible for the Queen’s telegram (my daughter is organising it)
Loved your post, triggered many thoughts. 🙂
Thanks so much and your dad is amazing, I hope he makes it to the Queen’s telegram, not everyone lives long enough to get one.
Indeed. And may his longevity reside in my genes.
But more seriously, he’s always been active, and turned his back on fad diets; he eats lots of animal fats, uses a shocking amount of salt, and has not a sweet tooth. So there goes the recipe for longevity. 🙂
It’s amazing isn’t it that they survive on what they eat and I hope you do have his genes
I thank you. I do try to take a leaf out of his book (so to speak).
Live forward and look backwards. Great!
Thanks so much Sadje.
Michael, a very thoughtful piece. The key is moderation, I think.
An excellent ponder, this…I’m a bit overwhelmed, stumped as to a proper or sensible response. I will say that although I do believe in an actual Heaven and Hell–this life has been a hellish journey for the most part…and thus my eagerness to be finished here, and passionate faith that I will go Home to my Father’s house. For now, I write poetry 🙂
Hello Ennle, thanks for reading my post and your comment. When I was in my final year of high school, a long time ago, we had a Dominican nun who would tell us this life had to be hell as you wouldn’t imagine anything worse than this. One of the few things I remembered from high school. I will go look at your poetry.
It’s hard to imagine anything worse, though the Bible–for those who take it literally–paints image of isolation from God, truly horrible in my opinion, plus Eternity in the lake of fire. So when I ponder all that, my present misery and dismay are nothing to fuss about 🙂
PS: I think you knew me as either “Caddo” or “Stella” in previous blogs… Hope you are doing well, and your family too.
I thought I recognised you, so good to see you again, I am doing well thanks.
Good to hear!