I see it all the time. People bringing up the past. There are good reasons to bring up the past and some not so good reasons. It is true – if we forget the lessons learned in the past we are doomed to repeat them in the future. That’s not just true of nations but also of ourselves.
The past I am referring to here is more the “I can’t seem to get over this time of my life” past. People who always bring up things like “When I was younger…”, “When I was with so-and-so…”, “Remember years ago when you did …”. And it’s never to reminisce. It’s to hold something over someone’s head or an excuse to stay mired in the muck of life. It’s not letting go of the things that should not continually be brought into the present. It’s old baggage that we can’t seem to recognize for what it is – old baggage that isn’t needed anymore – and toss it where it belongs – in the ditch many steps ago on our path – not to be brought up again.
I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to tell someone “Just get over it already!!” after hearing for the millionth time about how lost they are that a loved one has passed, or how horrible that ex was, or how much they hated that boss they had five jobs ago. Some things we need to remember and learn the lesson from. But just because you learned the lesson doesn’t mean you have to bring the entire course curriculum of books with you to remember! Learn the lesson, remember the lesson, and put the “book” that was the experience, which has now just become baggage, DOWN. Don’t use said “book” to continually bash anyone over the head with so they get the point you learned the lesson. After a while, trust me, we want to burn your book! (An action I abhor but I think you get the concept I’m trying to make here.)
I’m not saying forget, or belittling the experience. I’m saying MOVE ON. Live. Not in the past but fully in the present. The longer you continue to hold on to the past the harder walking forward will be – until one day the rubber band that is your past will either snap and you will have a very rude awakening or it will finally drag you back to that time that it will literally knock you off your feet and you will have to figure a way to walk forward again, and have lost all that ground. Either situation is not healthy.
Sever the umbilical cord to the past. Move headlong into the future with less baggage to weight you down. You CAN cherish the memories without carrying the baggage from the experience. You can still have learned the lesson without carrying all the books that went with it. You can move forward without the anchor.
All you have to do is let go – and LIVE in the now. Much less scary to me that having to constantly look back at what was that I can no longer change. I would rather face all the glorious future possibilities that lie ahead. For living is the experience, the knowledge gained, not the baggage that went with it.