To be added to later
It got me to where I am now...and I choose
Does your past determine your future?
The value of thinking about your past
Misusing the past
Your past simply is...
And now life can be whatever you choose to make of it
What will you commit to?
Discussion of the past
Regret as an emotion
IT GOT ME TO WHERE I AM NOW...AND I CHOOSE...
"I had the life I had and it led me here, where I am now.
I could do no better, given the circumstances, the beliefs, and the awareness I had.
The past is now finished...and it's gone, simply something that got me here, much like a car or a path.
Now, I get to choose - to go on the path of learning to increase my awareness so that I will handle life better or I get to be on the path of judging the past or having my past become my future.
It seems pretty clear to me what to do!!!!"
Which will you choose?
DOES YOUR PAST DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE?
If you believe this, you are believing a total falsehood. They have proven scientifically that a bad past does not cause a bad future!
But it is true that you can choose to keep repeating the past - unless you make a decision to create something new in the future. It is, of course, not simply about dropping the past, as we must insert a future to look forward to or we'll just end up with a vacuum - and remember: vacuums suck...whatever is closes and most easily available!
Some people bemoan their past and proclaim that they can't have a good future and then they proceed to provide "evidence" or "justifications". My mother taught me to do the wrong things. They told me I wasn't worth anything and that I'd fail (read about Dave Pelzer in his book A Child Called "It")
Read the stories of the people who had such a "bad past" and/or "terrible" things happen to them: Bad Past, Good Life (Dave Pelzer, Helen Keller, W Mitchell, Frankl, and others) It doesn't matter what occurs in your life... You need to learn "How to be happy no matter what." And that is a very learnable skill. Read the Happiness section and also get a glimpse into what life can be like by reading Fearlessness.
THE VALUE OF THINKING ABOUT YOUR PAST
Your past does not exist now. That's indisputable.
Yes, you have a memory of happenings and things. Alot of those memories, however, have been altered a bit and screened and some data dropped. The primitive mind does this altering and prioritizing and de-prioritizing, as it is an efficient processing machine, giving more space to what seems a bigger deal, which is signified to the brain by the amount of emotion that occurred at the time. It will, of course, miss the subtleties that you did not notice at the time - plus it has no real perspective on its own.
We also view the past with a bias, depending on what point we want to prove. We can use it as an excuse - and then we won't get anywhere. "I had this past therefore I am this way and will continue to be this way" is an ignorant statement, as anyone can change with increased awareness.
You can look back at mistakes made and learn from those - that is the primary value of thinking about the past. If one draws out the good memories and adds other good meanings to parts of one's past life, then one is using the definitely recommended practice of "appreciation" (the sister of gratitude), which creates good feelings and helps build a foundation upon which one can rely, in a positive sense. Otherwise thinking about the past is useless negative rumination.
MISUSING THE PAST
Those who are using the past for justification are doomed to repeat the past - and being very right about. But definitely not happy...
The reason why I am this way is only a justification for not changing, as there is another choice.
Yes, you can choose to lock in your discontent and to create it as "truth" of a permanent, real nature (which it isn't) by repeating over and over how bad it was or how it causes you to be as you are now. But that is useless ... and it is harmful emotionally in the moment and creates harm for the future.
You now must give up the "story". And in so doing, you give up the right to ever speak of it. You will never speak of it again unless it is for a progressive, positive purpose (venting is not a positive purpose, as it is another "being victim" practice).
YOUR PAST SIMPLY IS...
Your past is simply what got you here, to this point in time. It was essentially a path of stepping stones that was taken as best you knew how. You simply learned something or not, but based on that level of knowledge and those beliefs, you took the only step you knew how to at each moment in time. And there is no blame, shame, or regret in simply taking the path in the only way you knew how. What else could you have done?
It couldn't have been different except by accident! You learned from your caregivers, the culture, your peers, and your studies and efforts what you learned and that determined your capability to make the next step on the path - one that couldn't be better, because you simply did not know better, period.
But some say: "it was so bad!" It was what it was, but it doesn't exist any more, except in your mind. And it couldn't have been any better. Plus you forgot all the great things there were about it (I know you'll disagree right now, but once you have gratitude training you'll see what you didn't notice.).
THE EFFECT OF TALKING ABOUT THE PAST REPEATEDLY
Barbara is a good example of using this toxic habit. Although I am in a semi-coaching relationship with her, she repeatedly (and unnecessarily) repeats, almost as if by rote, that the reason for her behavior now is due to such and such in her past.
Sure, this is "explanatory", but it is vital to carefully minimize the number of repeats.
Barbara is living from the past, so it is no wonder she is often reliving the past - and struggling against it.
She keeps putting the past into "existence", bringing it into the here and now, "seeing" it again in her mind's eye, reinforcing the recording in her brain. This makes it more available for the brain popping it up.
It is mandatory, for a good life, to only talk about the future when there is a progressive purpose, such as learning from it. It is only a series of recordings, that's it. The rule: "Never, never, ever, ever talk about the past unless it is for a useful purpose." (And have the definition of "useful purpose" be very limited - only for sharing of good experiences or for making progress in some way.)
"But I heard it was good to express yourself."
"It is proven not to be good to express negative things as it just increases the likelihood and tendency to repeat it again.
I am not my past. I need not repeat it. It does not exist. I create going forward. I carefully create my future.
COMPLETE IT AND LEAVE IT BEHIND
And, then, work on Creating A New Future, The Necessary Steps, so that you've inserted something to live into. If you don't put anything into the "space", then you'll just draw on what is available. Create the new future and review it over and over, so that it is the picture you are drawn to, the recording that comes up about what to do - instead of a recording from the past, recreating what didn't work!!!!
AND NOW LIFE CAN BE WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE TO MAKE OF IT
And now you have a chance for a new and better path, if you choose to commit (and follow through) on learning that will lead you on the path to wisdom. On that path, there is no past determining your future, for you will rapidly eliminate the lack of awareness that created your past life.
WHAT WILL YOU COMMIT TO?
___ I accept my life so far. It was what it was.
___ I commit to not discussing my past, except where it serves a progressive
___ I will never use the story to justify, provide a rationale, or evoke sympathy.
___ I see that ruminating about it has no value and could be harmful.
___ I realize that talking of the past causes me to see it strongly as an image,
reinforcing the recording and increasing the likelihood of calling it up again
to repeat it.
___ I now choose to increase my awareness and wisdom at a rapid pace. From that
I will live a life that is at a higher level and I will also appreciate it more.
Short Discussion Articles
also using the "My List Of Incompletes" form in that article.
From the Relationship section, Communication, Methods:
originating cause and then gives the opportunity to reinterpret or see it from a more powerful point of view.
From the Psychology section:
Main Learning Modules To Read
read the perspective on your past.
perceptions, and adopting what is more useful...
Bad Childhood, Good Life, Dr. Laura Schlessinger
To Love Is To Be Happy With, Barry Neil Kaufman - Stop creating and using beliefs that don't serve for the greater good. (Not about love per se.)
What's Important Now, Shedding The Past so You Can Live In The Present, John Kuypers - He deals with many aspects of shedding the past, including how to be happy "no matter what". He also was a student at The Option Institute., which does workshops and has books and cd's that will help alter your viewpoints about your past.