by Beth Haley
In looking at common thinking on the topic of our past, I see the same messages over and over:
Leave the past behind
Don’t allow your past to limit your life
Don’t be controlled by your past
Don’t allow your past backstory to define you
Make peace with your past
Heal your past
How to move on
Leave your past in the past
These are all great, but I was looking for something different. I didn’t know what, but in the middle of this search, I came across a new message I did not expect. Perhaps not new so much as, approaching the topic of our past from a different angle.
Aditya Jaykumar Iyer says it like this: “Use your circumstances and your childhood memories to your advantage.”
We can accept the past, heal, and move on. However, we can also use it.
I have often thought about the memories and circumstances of the past and wondered what it was all about. What was the point? Yet those memories, liked or unliked, make up our story.
It seems that we often work for a separation from the past to start out new…? We want a divorce from what was. We segregate these memories or these circumstances (the past) and say, “You stay in the trash pile. You don’t benefit me anymore. Or, you never benefitted me at all. All I want to do is move on.”
But, what do you find when you analyze your life story so far… you might find that many things from the past have prepared you for this exact moment in time… that your voice is needed at this time, because you have something to say that no one else can say. Because there is only one you and no one else has your exact story.
After all, what is only half a story? If your story started today, you’d lose a lot of the background that made you who you are in the first place. What makes your voice unique? What have been the disadvantages and advantages that make you who you are? Your story, comes from your entire life, not just part of it, not from only the parts that you liked, but from the whole picture.
In working to move forward and step into new things, its funny, but:
“Life has a way of bringing us back a full circle.”
When outside influences want you to adhere to the status quo or to a certain standard, what is it about you, that brings you back to your own voice? If you revisit experiences you’ve had, you may find clues that were always there, pointing you in the direction of your path now.
“A path is not a straight line. It’s a cycle.”
Life has seasons. It changes and grows, twists and turns, but all of your experiences combined is where the depth of your story and the strength of your individual voice comes from.
Aditya Jaykumar Iyer may have been talking about careers, but I really liked this message applied to the overall topic of “Our Past”.
Allowing. Acceptance. These are struggle words for me. I always want to resist the things I haven’t liked or don’t like now. But I’m being encouraged more and more to allow and accept and use what was and is, to move forward.
Your past doesn’t have to be segregated, it can be sourced and used.
I can also see in this message (allowing it and using it) the true meaning of: Make peace with your past.