January 22, 2023Lifelong Learning

#92: Why You Should Revisit Your Past (Even When It Hurts)

"For this is what makes us evil—that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past." — Seneca, Moral Letters as quoted in the The Daily Stoic

No planning for the future can ever be effective without reviewing the past.

While rumination isn't exactly healthy, keeping past pain and mistakes at the back of our mind to avoid the discomfort of dealing with them won't benefit us either.

I usually roll my eyes out at theories that tie everything back to our childhood, but deep down I know there are insights to be gleaned from revisiting how we've been hurt, abandoned, and disappointed when we were young. Whether we like to admit it or not, the way we have been nurtured (or have been failed) by our parents and the environment we grew up in influence the way we see the world and how we make decisions as adults.

But reviewing the past isn't just about discovering the beliefs we've formed based on our childhood experiences—it also includes reviewing recent failures and problems and tracing the tracks that led us there.

It's easy to blame oneself and succumb to self-loathing when reviewing the past, which makes this is a delicate practice.

One must have a strong sense of self-compassion and forgiveness, acknowledging that we did the best we can back then. And the only healthy thing to do is to learn how and why we fell short, take the time to work on ourselves, repair the damage when we can, and do our mightiest to not make the same mistakes again.

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Hi, and thanks for reading! I'm Kishly, cheerleader of creatives and copywriter turned marketing strategist. Bookmark this blog to read my daily atomic posts on creative living, compassionate productivity, lifelong learning, and everything else that fascinates me. Or subscribe to Process, my weekly-ish newsletter for young adults (and the young at heart) in pursuit of wisdom and wonder. ✨

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