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The Past

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by Twinsmommy31, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    Should we often reflect back on our past or keep looking straight ahead? Does the past keep us from making the same mistakes?
    missbishi likes this.
  2. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor

    In total, no. In the end, you will not even HAVE a past (good OR bad). Your focus should be on the future you're building with the tools you have at present---the past being only 'foundation stones' for you to support that.

    That way you see your mistakes of the past as 'ashes in the forge.'
    Megan S and missbishi like this.
  3. meenz

    meenz Member

    One should not dwell on the past as much as they currently do. The past is permanent, and there is nothing you can do to change it. The past may be full of your demons, your bad days, everything you despise, but constantly focusing on it and living your life in the past is going to get you nowhere.
    You are currently living in the present. Every day you wake up and get out of bed to something new. Nothing is predestined, you must make of life what you can.
    As for the future, many people think their life won't go anywhere. People think they've ruined their life by what they've done, or what they might do but you never know. The future is not yet solidified. It takes until you reach that point in your life and make those decisions for something to come of it.
    rabst and missbishi like this.
  4. cowboyz4life

    cowboyz4life Member

    The focus should be on the future. I say full steam ahead. The past is gone and it is time to move forward. You can acknowledge what happened in the past and it should make you better for tomorrow.
    missbishi likes this.
  5. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Some say the past is just where in should be, behind you and hence you should not look back. I imagine it makes good sense especially if you are speaking about an addiction. I rather think when it comes to addiction you should be focusing on the recovery which may or maybe be the now, and your new path ahead, the future.
    missbishi likes this.
  6. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    There is no sense in looking back to the past, particularly if yours has been fraught. Those days are behind us now and dwelling on the mistakes of days gone by does little to help us on our road to recovery. We aren't those people anymore are we, so why beat yourself up? There is absolutely nothing we can do to change the past so it's best just to accept it and concentrate on today.
  7. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor

    At the same time, the past is the best textbook on "how you got where you are now."
    Rainman likes this.
  8. RingoBerry

    RingoBerry Senior Contributor

    Reflecting on our past is a necessity. This is how I see it but for me, it is to keep me humble. To keep me grounded, to keep me thankful and to keep me striving to have a better life. But "dwelling in the past" specially constantly recalling mistakes and terrible experiences is a different thing, this only keeps us stuck, unable to move forward and see the possibility that things can still improve.
  9. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    Definitely reflect and evaluate your past, but don't take it too seriously because you nor any other human can change it, even if a time machine was ever created. The past is done and gone, it is nothing more than a shadow which can broaden your mind, distract you, or diminish your wishes to grow. In fact, the memory you have of your own past is but a re-imaging of your experiences, it is not the direct experience itself being recollected and recalled.
    rabst likes this.
  10. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    You can actually do both. Sometimes, you have to reflect on things that happened to you in the past, so you could learn from your past mistakes and refrain from doing them again. However, you should not always stay and dwell on the past. You must also look forward to the future and be a better version of yourself.
  11. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think like with most things, a healthy balance of everything is the best choice. Memory is a tool like any other, and like all tools, they can be used to build and destroy and often both are necessary to keep moving.
  12. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    I think that the past does have it's purpose in a person's life! The past is meant to teach us lessons about where we went wrong and we should sometime use it to avoid falling in the same destructive patterns! I always tell people to cherish their past because that's what made them who they are today, plus it's always nice to reflect back and see how far you have come! The only problem is when people start dwelling in the past and worrying about things that happened in the past.
  13. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Experience is the best teacher, so it was said.

    First, there's no way you can forget the past unless someone fried your brain. Question therefore is, should you dwell on the past, blame yourself for mistakes you made, wallow in self-pity because you lost so much? No.

    The only good thing about your past is the lessons you learned. Use those to help you avoid making similar mistakes. Start rebuilding your life and create a better future for yourself. In fact, even better, don't even think about the future. Do what you must today.
  14. Kamarsun1

    Kamarsun1 Active Contributor

    We are here to learn from the past, but many people rather live in the past. That's where the problems lie. The past is like a road map, it leads you to a certain point, but you always have to keep your eyes on the road ahead.
  15. lollie

    lollie Member

    I say that this is a number 1 NO, NO. Lingering on to your past will only keep you saddened and feeling guilty. Who wants that? You MUST forgive yourself and keep it moving. Everyone experiences a dark time in their lives whether it's alcoholism or whatever else... people have to experience these dark times in order to grow and remain strong.

    Don't think about the past, just keep it moving. Prove people wrong. Show them that you can continue your life in a manner that makes them proud.
    rabst likes this.
  16. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    I remember my godmother's funeral. She had killed herself and her body was found after many months of searching. Her brother stepped forward and talked of her, a bit, and then said: "But it's like driving a car. You cannot spend your time looking backwards, you have to keep your eyes on the road ahead. It's okay to look in your mirror every now and then, when you need to. But you can't let it keep you from looking forward."

    It seemed like it made sense. You cannot ignore your past; you should in fact refer to it and to the lessons learned when you need to. But that should not be your whole horizon. Eyes on the road.
    rabst likes this.
  17. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    The past should only serve as a painful reminder of all the tribulations we passed through but not as a reason to feel sorry for ourselves.Just because you fell down shouldn't mean that we should stay down.We must rise up,dust our self and look forward with a lot of optimism.The future should always look bright and we should be hopeful for a better tomorrow.
    rabst likes this.
  18. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor

    That's especially true if you're PROUD OF your past; because your reward for the past is only here in the present IN THE FORM OF CURRENT-ACTIONS.

    Example: my conquest over my near-death Traumatic Brain-Injury. Sure, that makes each 'ho-hum average, boring day' more-valuable to me; but not unless I actively cherish the 'ho-hum average boredom!'
  19. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    I love and embrace my past , tribulations and triumphs alike. I learn and I use it to make me better, but I do not dwell on the past. I live in this moment because this moment is what matters to me, I strive to be a better me everyday.
  20. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    The things that had happened to us in the past be it good or bad we can use it as a stepping stone to move on or to start something new in our life. We cannot escape what had happened in the past and some people treat it as a bad nightmare in their life. It is true that we cannot forget our past but relying on this things will leave thoughts in our mind that what had happened before will make us a stronger person to face the new realities and adversities of life that is to come in the future.
    rabst likes this.