It Can Never Be

Black box is a film I watched last night about a single father, Nolan, who struggles to regain his memory after a car accident. Phylicia Rashād stars as the brilliant neurologist helping Nolan parse through his memories. During therapy, Nolan accesses his subconscious, revealing a troubled character. I’m watching Nolan relieve his past, and it had me thinking about his upbringing and aspects that clearly went wrong. I wondered if his mother had wished there were things she could have done better.  

It’s a game we all play. If I had made this decision; been given that opportunity; taken that career path; life right now would have been rosier, we imagine. But imaginations of the past can never be. It’s gone. We’re not getting the past back.

Celebration of the present is a better game to play. To begin with, we know better now – let’s celebrate that. You see, regret keeps us stuck in ‘what could have beens’. It clouds our judgment. We can’t move forward; can’t see what’s right in front of us; hoping for a situation from a past that can never be. But celebration invokes a spirit of hope. We develop positive expectations, and our actions move into alignment with those expectations. In other words, when our outlook on life is positive, it is quite likely that the things we do will follow an onward and upward trajectory. Once we see the good in our present, we can hope in a better tomorrow.

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