You Can’t Go Back

I read constantly, both fiction and non-fiction. When I am reading a fictional tale, I enjoy finding a life lesson revealed within the context of the story.

Here is an except from Mad Ship by Robin Hobb. Wintrow is depressed because his life is way off the course he had planned. Mostly due to unfortunate events that were out of his control.

He shook his head sadly, “I do not know. Perhaps it is, for other folk, I only know it was not what I was accustomed to, nor what I expected. I keep trying to think of a way to get back to where I was and restore my life to what it is supposed to be, but—”

“You can’t go back,” she told him bluntly. Her voice was neither kind or unkind. “That part of your life is over. Set it aside as something you have finished. Complete, or no, it is done with you. No being gets to decide what his life is ‘supposed to be.’” She lifted her eyes and her gaze stabbed him. “Be a man. Discover where you are now, and go on from there, making the best of things. Accept your life, and you might survive it. If you hold back from it, insisting this is not your life, not where you are meant to be, life will pass you by. You may not die from such foolishness, but you might as well be dead for all the good your life will do you or anyone else.”

Do you ever find yourself trying to go back in time? It is only natural to think that we can fix things by putting them back to the way they were before. Life just doesn’t work that way!

I find that when I am facing a difficult situation, it is important to remember not to try to undo the past, but to chart a new future. I must evaluate the current situation, learn from the past, but move forward.

This may seem easy as you read this example, but subconsciously we want to go back to a time when we were comfortable. I try to recognize when I fall into this trap. It is true. We cannot go back.