Some people say you have to forget your past and focus on the future.
I don’t disagree that you should not wallow in the past, but we do have to recognize that the past is the key to why we do the things we do and how we are in the world. Moving forward is not the answer to everything.
Imagine if you left a job, school, life experience and threw away all the knowledge you gained and started over every time. You may reinvent yourself and change jobs, but the knowledge of the past is powerful. It stays with you whether you want to forget it or not. I have a background in printing, many years gone now, but invariably when the copier breaks I know how to fix it – should I stand there and play as if I don’t? Some might, but that’s not in my nature. I’ll pull forward that knowledge and put it to good use.
People ask me “Why are you writing a memoir? Why not leave the past in the past?”
This is a fear based question to me. My past is a bit scary and hairy and complicated. I should want to leave it in the past I guess, but I’m bigger than my past and having done some work with it – I’m no longer afraid of it.
I say – if the past experiences we have in life follow us, then why not embrace them instead of shoving them back into the I don’t care about you bag? Why I need to write it down, I don’t know – I am compelled, called, whatever you want to call it.
My digging through old memories allows me to see my own patterns, my own successes, my own failures. From those I can take full responsibility for all of it and not be a victim believing that life happens to me, but can be an active participant in making life happen. I can learn from all these memories, not get stuck in an old pattern, but build a new one. By integrating the past into the now, I’m creating a better future.
Your past may be holding you back from everything in life and you can’t see it because you are too afraid to look. Instead of why me? The question might be what is this teaching me?
I’m grateful for my past, grateful in an almost painful way, thankful that I came out alive from places where some people don’t, willing to always get up and put myself back together. Believe you can. You can!
Do you ever have that recurring thing that comes up no matter what you do?
That’s your old wound, old pattern talking to you.
Change the future, heal the past, live and be more fully ALIVE.