Today's prayer from the wee book goes like this:
"Lord, I often think about what could be and dream of a better future. Sometimes, though, my thoughts are locked in the past, stuck in disappointment and regret. Please help me to be content with today, to live in this moment, no matter what my current circumstances."
Hmmmm....in my case there isn't much living in the past any more. Occasionally I still have a fleeting childhood memory fly through my conscious mind that triggers some sadness over what might have been and wasn't and now never will be, but apart from that I spend little time on regrets and past disappointments. As far as what was, well, WAS is the operative word, can't change the past so why dwell on it, right? The future always holds the possibility of better times and circumstances, so why not spend thinking time on positive possibilities instead of remaining mired in past disasters?
As far as my own past personal moral failures, I have taken them to Jesus and received God's forgiveness so they don't need to be thought about any more unless a new and similar problem or temptation arises. Then past experiences can be light posts warning me away from the emotional and spiritual pain of a repeat performance, pulling me away from future regrets. When the temptation passes the old thoughts of past regrets can pass away as well.
I like today's little prayer in my daily prayer book. If the temptation to worry about the past, to re-experience those pains and regrets comes upon us, it is a good reminder of the great I Am's intention to set us free from such debilitating thoughts that can leave us depressed and ineffective in our daily lives. I am just grateful that so many life experiences that cannot be changed can be redeemed somehow by the grace and love of my Heavenly Father.