“Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.”
The past is interesting. Its time has come and gone, but still it remains – in pictures that appear in our minds at the most random of times. Perhaps it’s something that someone says, or a certain scent, or taking a trip that we’ve taken many times before that reminds us of the trips from before that will never be again. And it’s almost as if we relive it all again, only this time as mere observers, not participants. During some of these times, a feeling of happiness overtakes us as we recall funny moments shared with another, moments when something we had always wanted landed in our lap, or that beautiful moment where the sun slowly rose as we sat on the beach beside someone that we held dear.
Likewise, there are moments that haunt us. Ghosts of failed relationships, of hurt, of times that we worked so hard for something only to stand by helplessly, watching as it was taken away.
All of these moments, though nothing more than faded photographs that will forever be just out of our grasp, remain. And they are always just a moment away. The question is, what should we do with them? As with most truly important things, the answer isn’t always clear.
Our past. It defines who we are and helps shape who we become. Our positive memories can often serve as motivation to better ourselves, or provide us encouragement when the present has dealt us more than we can take.
But the past can also be a hindrance. It can keep us from taking action as we sit yearning for a time long ago, when we were younger, fresher, more hopeful. “If only I could be the way I used to be. The old me.” Focusing on the past can also remind us of all the losses that we’ve experienced in our life – the damaged relationships, the rejections, and whatever else made us want to hide ourselves away and never be seen again.
So do we hold on to the past, our past, or let it go?
I think we should let it go – because it’s already gone. We can remember the good times fondly, but we should avoid wasting time wishing that we could go back to those times. Because we can’t. No matter how much we want to still be in college, or young adulthood, or whatever “golden” time we yearn for, we’re not going to magically be transported there. And those losses? Those bad memories? Learn from them, realize that just because it happened doesn’t mean it will happen again, and move on. “Great,” you say, “easier said than done.” Of course it is – everything is. But if you really want to, you can. In the end, when you examine and eliminate one by one every excuse for why you can’t do something, it all comes down to a choice.
You choose whether to live in a time that was and will never be again, or to live in a time that you have only once. Now. Because before you know it, now will also be the past, part of the collection placed carefully on that shelf of memories that we hold so dear.
At one point, we’ll all be nothing more than a memory that someone we know or love will recall until they’re also someone’s memory. And when our life reaches its final pages and is closed for good, will it read as a history book dictated by the past or . . . something else?
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.