The early twenties are prime-time years for dwelling on the past: on past experiences, past decisions, and especially past relationships, both friendly and romantic. Oftentimes young people reside in the gloomy banks of our memories because, well, we simply lack the luxury of experience. It’s completely natural to revert to nostalgia sometimes, but memory lane is not an ideal place to park long-term.
Through all of life’s predicaments, through all of its hurdles and snags and awkward moments, we evolve. There is no mysterious, underground route to navigate through the trials and tribulations that will one day make up our pasts. However, what we can do is master our future by gaining knowledge from each passing day. Whether you recognize it or not, this is a gift. Unwrap it.
The hardships that we bury deep in the confines of our minds oftentimes come back to haunt us. They show up in our educations, in our family dynamics, in our personal relationships. The worst part is that we are typically so affected by our pasts, our trust issues, our accidents, and our tribulations, that we begin to associate them with our present. In turn, many beautiful, healthy things slip away for fear of a past issue resurfacing.
This behavior must be eradicated in order to live a joyous, bountiful life. We can avoid the aforementioned by being thankful for the past – the good, the bad, and the ugly, and instead putting our demons to rest, thus focusing on doing better than we did before. That was then, this is now.
Why should we be grateful for all the sh*t we dealt with way back when? Here’s why. When you suffer a detrimental loss, you learn to appreciate each fleeting moment. When someone treats you like sh*t, you realize what type of people you don’t want around. When someone breaks your heart, you wake up and accept that there’s someone out there who won’t. When you get too drunk and make a complete imbecile out of yourself, you learn to get your act together. See the pattern? Bury the hatchet of your past, no matter how many times it cut you down, and grow new roots.
The f*ckups, mistakes, and devastations that stitch together the fabric of our pasts are the very things that serve us in the present. Rather than treating the turbulence of your personal past like a death sentence, learn to give thanks for its lessons, its wisdom, and its pertinence to your future.
Every move you’ve ever made has manifested your life. However messy, unsavory or hectic you think your past is, it has carefully and skillfully crafted your present self. Instead of letting the downfalls and pits of your past haunt you, try instead to praise your past. It does not define you, but instead serves as a blueprint of your future. Our past teaches us what we do and do not want; it is one of the most phenomenal blessings.
Featured Image via Ravi Vora