You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.

Jessica Park

Our lives have been moving at a pace so fast that days just go by in an instant. One week I was on vacation at Bantayan Island, savoring the pristine waters and breathtaking sunsets, a week later, I was at my cousin’s burial ceremony. It was a roller coaster of emotions. I wanted to pause and take a breather. But life doesn’t work like that. It has its own pace, and whether you like it or not, you have to learn to go along with it.

The Nature Of Life

We all know the one ultimate truth: life follows a cycle (it could be the seasons, or simply the human process of birth, growth, maturity, and death). Although we know such fundamental truth, it’s still in our nature to hate change. Change is frightening. Change is heartbreaking. Change is exhausting.

I don’t want to let go of family members passing away. Let alone imagine my cat sleeping on my bedsheet every day, will one night vanish and leave an empty feeling in the cold of the night.

My cousin was 33 when he died on the 12th of April this year. As young as it may sound, he perished from a stroke, with blood leaking inside his brain. He was conscious, until the day after another, he slowly succumbed to coma, brain death, and ultimately ending his life. A few days back he was still as fine, and now he’s in a coffin. What a surprise!

People’s plans changed in an instant, adapting to the situation. Relatives had to come home from abroad, not minding the prices of flights booked immediately. I skipped celebrating the Kaamulan Festival and meeting friends, others had to file for leave or be absent from work.

But then after the burial, things started to sink in. The person will never come back to life. All that’s left are his belongings and dear memories. What about the people he left behind? As much as we want to go back in time, life has no rewind button. Life has to move forward.


Acceptance is the ultimate step to progress–it’s a step required by life to move forward. It’s simply acknowledging the reality of our situation, whether good or bad, without denial and resistance.

Denial won’t help you. It won’t change the situation per se. People stuck in this stage refuse to move forward and are left behind. Some ultimately end their life in refusal to move forward in life letting go of something from the past.

The world rotates even as you sulk in your bed. Time ticks while you shed your tears in silence. People go along with their lives one day after another. If you die, someone will replace you at your work. If you don’t work, you’ll starve yourself to death. Aren’t they harsh enough to think of? It’s cruel, but it’s the reality.

So as painful as they may be, we need acceptance. Embrace the now and stop overthinking about the future or sticking to the past.

Psychological Resilience

Change is inevitable, but know that life doesn’t end there. It’s moving forward for a reason, it’s like a movie that’s playing forever. And with every scene, you meet new people and experience new things in life. As hard as it may sound, you have embraced change a hundred billion times in your life. Look back and see where you are now! It’s a little comforting to see that with little steps, we are moving forward. Yes! Small or big steps, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that life has to move forward.

image feature: Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels:

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