#317- Journey of Attachment: What Could’ve Been
There’s FOMO (fear of missing out), then there’s another layer where you beat yourself up over what you think you missed. When you’re attached to what could’ve been, it keeps you focused on the rear view mirror. You may find yourself reliving the missed opportunity over and over, second-guessing your decision-making. Then what happens? You start saying “yes” to what you otherwise might say “no” to out of fear, learning not to trust life. Maybe that means staying in a relationship past its expiration date. Looking back becomes an excuse not to look forward, and it keeps you stuck.
This is the classic “one who got away” story. You idealize a past relationship; someone you thought was your soulmate. Things ended, but you never stopped thinking about him/her, so you’re unable to move on. Even worse, you beat yourself up for letting them slip away. Even if you start a new relationship, you’re never really happy because you constantly undermine any positive feelings by focusing on the past. And it’s not even the real relationship you’re attached to—it’s an idealized version where no one can possibly measure up.
You can continue looking backwards as a way to avoid looking ahead, but you won’t find happiness in the rear view mirror. All it does is rob you of joy in the here and now. If you find yourself lamenting what could’ve been, realize you’re attached to a fantasy, not reality. Then look for the benefit to beating yourself up. Is it easier and safer to stay stuck? Is punishing yourself a pattern? Once you forgive yourself and let go, you can look ahead and start allowing joy back into your life.
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