How much power should the past have?

I was talking to a friend today and it got me thinking about how much power we let the past hold over the way we think and feel now. I have just resigned myself to believing stuff about myself and the way others will see me as a result of past memories, but maybe the past is only as powerful as we let it be? There are things that I am terrified of doing or not, that I have been blaming on my past. Excuse me a bit vague and while there are very specific fears I have, it is more the idea of this power that fascinates me.

Why do we let these memories shape so much of what we do in the present? I accept that the past shapes us into what we are today, but is this an excuse for holding onto things that damage us? While we can’t just discard them and they have value in what they have taught us, surely we control the power they have over our future actions. I think sometimes we feeding into a memory because changing it takes self reflection. If you let go of an idea that a memory holds then you have to replace it with something and be willing to live that reality rather.

I don’t think this is easy by any means but I have started looking at some of the stuff I have included into my idea of myself as a person, stuff that I have assimilated from other people’s reactions and comments. Some have become so ingrained that I have not questioned them in years. Recently 2 new friends have challenged this reality of me and I have had to re-think painful stuff and let go of things that are holding me back. The notion that I have to carry these negative ideas with me always is just stupid. Of course not everyone is going to like me, BUT those that like the real me for who I am, are the ones that I want in my life anyway, the rest well who cares.

2 thoughts on “How much power should the past have?

  1. I found that sometimes it was easier to hold onto old ways, even when these old ways were of no benefit to me, or hurt me. A counsellor said that it was because the past felt less threatening than the unknown. So I’ve had to question a lot in my life, and ask myself, am I holding onto this memory, and this way of doing things because it benefits me, or because I’m afraid to change?

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