Home » All Seeds » Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards; But It Must Be Lived Forwards – Søren Kierkegaard
Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards; But It Must Be Lived Forwards - Søren Kierkegaard

Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards; But It Must Be Lived Forwards – Søren Kierkegaard

Never in history has humanity been as advanced as we are today. No matter what field you examine, incredible strides have been made. From medicine to space flight, from human rights to standard of living; we are far better off than our forbearers. Yet with all of these advances; in certain moments, we are no different from our ancestors of the distant past. When serious challenges arise; we still ask that eternal question, “why is this happening to me?”

In that stillness of time when we are hit with a traumatic event, there really are no answers. What often does occur is that as we gain some distance from it, sometimes a beam of understanding pierces through the darkness. Perhaps what we initially thought was to our detriment turned out to be to our advantage. Maybe we were forced to take a more rigorous look at the direction our life was taking and make some painful adjustments. Sometimes we were forced to admit our powerlessness and learned to practice acceptance.

As we emerge from that life changing event, we hopefully have attracted new levels of wisdom and understanding. From that point, the trajectory of our lives must be forward. It’s crucial to avoid the trap of dwelling in the past. Rather than bemoaning our “bad luck,” we can recognize that we have been given a second chance. We become gripped by a powerful drive to make every day count, and even every minute count. To do otherwise would debase the profundity of what happened to us in the first place.

Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards; But It Must Be Lived Forwards – Søren Kierkegaard
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About Moshe Kessler

Moshe and his beloved wife have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. He loves to meditate, journal, and do tai chi and yoga. He is also a member of a number of 12 Step Programs. He believes that insights from these programs can be of help to anyone. On a daily basis he blogs at www.wisdomfromtherooms.com.
  • Thank you for an interesting post!

  • Profound understanding to realize our second chance and be grateful,

  • Such a great post, thank you!

  • Now that was a great piece well written and it produce a profound, and thought post. Great job!

  • Lovely post and profound lesson: “Sometimes we were forced to admit our powerlessness and learned to practice acceptance.” Love this.

  • This is a super post. This question fascinates me and my response to that and whatever comes along is always ‘Why not me?’ I am not so special that I should be exempt from such challenges, health or personal. As you say, it’s here for a reason, I just need to locate it’s purpose and work through the issue and learn. Great post, thank you!

  • Understanding the past is paramount to forging a better future, but we cannot live in either one. We live in the present, and sometimes that requires us to come to terms with our past and choose to leave it behind.

  • When we accept our past and live in the present, we can be hopeful in our move toward the future. This post makes great points on how to live daily with the curve balls life throws.

  • Thanks for this Moshe, your comments were so timely. Just today I was faced with an unexpected challenge that nearly caused me to become unhinged. I caught myself in time – and blogged about it instead 😉

  • Hi
    This is so inspirational! I have the worst habit of looking over my should with the “could haves” and “should haves.” Of course, at the moments I am reflecting on, I was not able to see things as I can now. These reflections often cause me to stagnate in the looking forward portion of my life.
    You have reminded me that I am not the only one whose hindsight is 20/20! Thank you.

  • Great posting! Perfect timing. Thank you!!

  • Wise words. Thank you.

  • This is very well written and has great insights. I also believe we should accept everything that happens in our lives. We never know where it will take us, what we will learn and what we will become. 🙂

    Have the best day ever,

    Nícia <3

  • Words of wisdom.

  • This is beautifully written and is very insightful. I love your blog by the way

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