Is the past really just the past?

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At times I get a bit triggered by philosophically oriented blogs I read, especially when things are posted about how the past is past and how it has no power now.  While that is true on one level it is not the truth if you suffered from PTSD or complex PTSD, the past lives on in cellular memory and needs to be dealt with.  If that happens then the past can become the past but it will still have had an effect.  And reading that kind of thing can trigger feelings that you are failing in some way if you are impacted by a painful past still and trying to deal with it’s effects in the present.

I can only imagine that people who write these things don’t fully understand, or they brush of their own or other’s suffering in some way.  As I see it people are recreating unresolved pasts around them every day in the things they never become conscious of,  deep cellular impacts and imprints they have carried and perhaps even along the ancestral line. I read a very interesting book on family therapy a few years ago in which a therapist discovered a link between emotional cut offs in family and things like schizophrenia and other mental illness.  Knowing my own ancestral and family history I see how the unconscious past recreates itself all the time in the lives of family who have not chosen a path of inner work and growth in consciousness.  I saw it play out dramatically in my older sister’s life.

Also when dealing with such trauma there is the issue of the assistance or lack of assistance we receive along the way in dealing with things.  A relationship with someone who is supportive and shows empathy and helps you to link things together at an emotional level can make all the difference as to whether in time you can leave the past in the past and move onto more supportive relationships.  If you are a family scapegoat and find yourself cast out into the wilderness help comes if you can find some other so called ‘ugly ducklings’ on their own path to undo the illusion of lack of inner value and so find your own unique ‘curse’ was actually a blessing that could only be rejected or misunderstood in a damaged family.

Becoming aware of patterns take time, we all need help to deal with our past, otherwise unconscious childhood history has very negative ways of playing itself out.  And there does come a time when we need to make conscious choices over how much power we will allow our suffering to continue to exert over our lives.  My experience is that my soul wants to know of my pain and suffering.  It wants me to understand and respond from a place of empathy, others are also longing for their souls to be seen and valued and validated whether or not they know it or are in touch.  I personally see around me in every day so many people who dismiss themselves for feeling or reacting a certain way and then they turn that misunderstanding around on themselves or others.

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about how even from a young age I used to look more deeply into things.  I would question why people were the way they were and I would urge others to show compassion when they were being nasty.   I think there is a kindness trait in my entire family to be honest at times it gets us in trouble as we can be too soft but on another level I am grateful for it, for the ability to look deeper means I can understand more.

While I appreciate the value of philosophy and philosophical ways of viewing the world, our soul’s quest for meaning is something that must take place deep within the interior landscape of our own hearts and souls.  We each have a unique history and past that we carry with us. As humans we are constantly engaged in the process of making meaning of things. To quote a well known saying : we don’t see things as they are we see them as we are.  Some of us see demons where others see angels and some of us know the shadow is a part of life, we may not like it but we accept that part of being human is that we are all flawed and imperfect.  It is so deeply tragic and sad that some of humanities deepest wounds and imperfections have caused such suffering,  just look at the wars going on all around us on planet earth and the actions and reactions of world leaders who are really no more than little kids in their reactions.   It is tragic and frightening but it is also the way of the world.   I am not saying that we should not fight for values of decency, kindness and fairness but I am saying that very real and deep things affect us as human beings that we don’t always see or know or make a relationship with.

Being told that the past is just the past well it is not entirely true, to my way of thinking.  To the degree that we can engage deeply with and become more conscious of the impact of the past on us though the freer we can be.  If we can feel everything through, recognise its painful impact and stop repeating those patterns and that pain meeting our own and other’ s suffering with compassion then we may find we do have the capacity to let go of what hurt and embrace the love, deeper wisdom and understanding that is always there waiting for us to find it.

Past

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