A Saying That Bugs Me


This phrase floats around social media a lot:

Don't look to the past, you can't go back there. 
Look ahead. That's where you're going.

Or you might have seen:


Looking backwards is pointless because you can't change it.



I had trouble identifying exactly why this didn't sit well with me at first.  

I look into the past All The Time. It's where I remember old loves, regrets, obsessions, and victories. My history makes me who I am. Even though it's jumbled and twisty, if I don't look back and honor it, I'm missing the chance to learn about myself. 

(The past is where I dig up juicy details for my fiction, too!)


I think if you don't look back, and with the right lens:



  • You can't recognize destructive patterns in your behavior.


  • You won't see how you broke generational curses, habits, and cycles.


  • You can't honor the people who supported you even though you didn't know it at the time.


  • You might be walking forward, but your life isn't what it could be because you haven't allowed yourself to heal and forgive.



Everyone has the closet full of " mental junk" (mistakes, victimhood, deceit, etc.) It might be well hidden, or even neatly organized, but it's there either feeding your fears and guilt, or defining your smart choices.


I realize that if you are focused too much on the past or too much on the future, you can't be fully present now. So if I'm going to put my own description out there:




Time is tricky. The words "past, present, and future" imply that our lives are linear. Instead, imagine you're floating above the landscape of your soul in a hot air balloon. You can see hills and valleys and various stories attached to each of them. The stories were recorded through your innocent childhood, this moment, or in other times we can't yet grasp. Together they form who you are, no matter when in your education you experienced them. They have meaning only because we assign it to them. How we choose to view our experiences- is life.




I'm guessing there will also be a time/place in our soul's existence where we have a greater understanding of what things actually look like, and my hot air balloon analogy will not suffice either.








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