There is power in your past.
I have heard a lot of views on what the past represents. Whiles it always makes a very interesting conversation, things always seem to travel one road. The idea most people have is simple- forget your past. It’s a heavy baggage that will weigh you down somehow.
The idea itself seems to have originated with motivational speakers as I have personally heard some speakers pushing this idea rather hard without reservation but is this really true? Is the past really a negative baggage? Possibly- but it is more a question of how you treat the past than the nature of the past itself.
If we were to construct a timeline for our lives, it will be easy to see that the past is one of the three time components of our lives and that the present is really only a current picture of the past. That we have consistently shaped the present by everything we have thought and done in the past; that the present (gift) that many speakers are crazy about will indeed become the past and that what we do with the present can be as a result of what we have learnt in the past and the future will be shaped by what we do now that is based on the past. Hence the past has everything to do with the future. When you touch fire with your bare hands and got burnt, it is that memory that that keeps you from repeating the act and even going further by avoiding any contact with fire. Without the experience, you could probably have a more damaging experience with fire as you have not understood its true nature.
Thinking like this gives the past a new meaning even if it is a negative past that some may refer to as a baggage. Of course anything can become a baggage or as we say in the philosophy of performance- a liability. But like everything else it is not the nature of the past that is the problem but the meaning you give it. It is not so much the gun but what we do with it.
We can therefore take a very negative past that could became a baggage and turn it into a powerful fuel that can cause change in the future based on what we do with the present. Those who say the present is a gift must understand therefore that it is only because there was a past that we have a present and that this present was given to us by the past and that past was actually a present that gave way to a more current gift -the present.
So here is the point: While it is true that the past can be a baggage that weighs you down, it will be a disaster to eliminate the past as it is a key component of your very existence and it is the only window through which you can see how and why you have arrived at the present or how you have received your gift. And if you do not like the nature of the gift (the present), it is only the past that can tell you how you got it and hence how you can get a better present in the future. And that it is how we choose to treat the past that is the crux of the matter and the nature of the past. The past is like everything else, it is either an asset or a liability- its value simply comes out of how we think about it.
This reduces the whole thing back to thought as it is thought that ends up as behavior after we have passed it through our emotions who’s responsibility it is to tell us the quality of the thought. It when we ignore the warning from the emotion that we arrive at a negative behavior which creates negative circumstances. Choose ye this day how you decide to think about the past as it will decide whether it is useful or not. As for me and my house we dare say that it is possibly the single most valuable resource we have as persons and those who do not have a past do not exist and hence will not have the present or the gift.
Treat you past better and you will have a better future.