Dealing With The Past

“Your past will continue to be your future if you drag it along with you.” David Bach Life is a series of events tied with a common thread, us. In my experience as a counselor, most of our issues stem from past events and issues that we dealt with. Mom and Dad didn’t give me enough…love, freedom, respect or whatever. I was cheated on, dumped, disrespected, abandoned and so it goes, there are as many issues as people. These are explanations, justifications, reasons for our present behavior, the truth is these are just excuses.

As adults we have the power, ability, capability to choose what we want in our life. The truth about the past, our past, is that it is exactly that the past. A good friend once told me “we need to give up the dream of a better past.” Our past is a fact of life; it just is, neither good nor bad, unless we say it is. My belief is that we can’t go back into the past and fix whatever is the problem it is not possible. The chance to fix that particular problem is past.

What we need to do is figure out how that problem is affecting us now, in the present. How is it influencing our lives today? What can we do about it? In the today we have a choice, an opportunity to do something about what it is that is keeping us stuck in the past. We can choose to let the past be done, just let it go. This is ok only as long as we truly are letting it go. We can’t be holding onto grudges, pains, slights, resentments and anger, we need to really be able to say that is ok. If not, then the issue is still influencing our present and future.

We must realize that we are in control of ourselves, in control of our lives. When we take control of our life we can ask the question what do I need to be happy, to be healed, to let go of this? For some it is just that easy, we say I am in control of me not my past. Others have a harder time with letting it go.

They need to look at their lives and what has happened since the issue. Is it all bad? I would guess not. There must have been some good times. Are these good times in spite of or because of the issue? The experiences in our lives make us who we are today so the things that struggle with in our past are part of all parts of today the good and the bad.

Acceptance of this allows us to be more understanding and accepting of our lives. Some individuals may need some more extensive work perhaps some inner child interventions. This is where you as an adult need to go back and talk to your younger self. What is it that he or she needs from you now? How can you nurture and support that little you? Are there things he or she needs to here, to know, to understand and that you as the adult can help them with? Sometimes all it takes is to say, “it’s ok, you are safe, I am here for you.”

The past is the past, beyond our capability to change. The future is the future, influenced by our present. The present is the golden time for here we have a chance. It is only in the present, in the moment that we have a choice, a moment to decide how we want our life to go from here. We can choose to be or do whatever we please.