Two monks were walking back to their monastery when they came to a ford at a stream. At the ford, a pretty farmer's daughter asked them to help her cross the stream as she did not want to get the mud on her new dress. The first monk ignored her and continued on his way remembering the strict rules of their order to not look at women. Without speaking, the second monk picked her up in his arms and carried her across the stream. He let her down on the other side and continued walking with the other monk. The first monk began to chastise him, asking him if he had forgotten the strict rules of their order. He kept referring to the incident all the way back to the monastery. As they reached the gateway of the monastery, he referred to the matter again. The second monk turned to him and said, "Are you still carrying the woman with you? I left her at the stream."
It is often our own excess baggage that weighs us down; many times if something affects us in a strong way, we tend to remember it long past the time it actually happened. The action is over in the present, but our attachments, desires, and expectations force our minds to live in the past. For example, there are some people who would hold grudges for something that happenned in their childhood. Why? There's really no logical reason for it; the actions and its effects are long over with, but an uncontrolled mind cannot stop dwelling on the past. An action can only affect us as long as we let it, but why couldn't the monk stop thinking the woman and why can't we forgive everyone and forget about the past? It is strong desires and attachments that cloud our perception and force us to cling to the past. When we meditate, we realize this and in the process, we start controlling our mind and become more capable to enjoy life to it fullest.