Live in the here and now, otherwise… well, what then? Last Sunday, I had another impulse during the church service: The story of Lot and his wife.

Don´t look back

For those not so familiar with the Bible, here’s the story: Lot and his family were warned by God to leave the city of Sodom and Gomorrah before it would be destroyed because of its sins. God gave clear instructions for the family’s rescue: “Do not look back.” As they fled, Lot’s wife couldn’t resist the temptation and looked back. When she did, she turned into a pillar of salt.

Why you should not watch the news 

Could it be that this story is more relevant than it may seem at first glance? You know that I’m a strong advocate for a “don’t watch the news” lifestyle. What do you do when you immerse yourself in the news? You look into the past, usually focusing solely on the worst things happening somewhere on the planet. Symbolically, you’re looking (back) toward Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you feel better or worse afterward? Usually worse, right? You internally freeze (symbolically as well) into a pillar of salt. Many people nowadays are absolutely “frozen,” struggling to move forward. Depression, burnout, and all the modern terms we have for that voice in our heads that tells us how bad everything is, starting with ourselves.

Let the past go 

Similarly, holding onto past events that still trigger anger, hatred, or resentment within us fits with this metaphor of Lot’s wife. Aren’t you completely blocked when you cling to things that happened decades ago and might even involve people who are no longer on this Earth? As Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest Holocaust survivor who lived to be 110, beautifully said during her lifetime: “Hate eats your soul. Not that of the hated.” As long as your soul clings to something “old” and past, and you keep looking back, you’re not living in the present moment but continuing to dwell in an unchangeable past. My mentor, Bob Proctor, always liked to say: “You cannot change the time you got out of bed this morning.” What’s done is done.

Move forward 

We all need to learn to let go even more to move forward happily. Constantly dwelling on past pains or negative news deprives us of the ability to experience our lives in the present moment. Moreover, it won’t make our future any brighter. We become pillars of salt, anchored in the past, unable to move forward.

Focus on the here and now 

It’s crucial to focus on the future and experience the here and now. The past is gone. Learn to let go. Therefore, Anke and I will be hosting a multi-day retreat on Rügen, Germany in November, where you’ll learn to let go, heal inner wounds, and create a future self that’s worth happily jumping out of bed every morning. It’s all very exclusive and intense, limited to a small group of up to 10 people. Write to me for more information if you’re interested.

Live more in the here and now and look only forward. Because that’s the direction you want to go. Looking south won’t bring you any closer to the north.