Is your past really past?

In everyday life,
Do we ever leave the past behind?

Years ago I attended a training course.
It was to prepare us to be online counsellors,
for a childrens phone in service called Childline.
There were about twenty of us on the course,
a good mix of men and women,
and a variety of ages and experiences.

As part of the course,
it was explained to us,
that we could not be effective counsellors,
if in fact we had not dealt with our own past.

Most of us nodded in agreement,
and some smiled whispering to neighbours,
that they had thankfully no issues.

So one night we were split into groups of six.
Then we were given a bunch of photographs.
Large blown up photos.
They were of a variety of “normal” things.
There were photos of groups of children playing,
others of adults with children,
and children showing a variety of emotions.
There were close ups of faces,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/29487767@N02/3247821179/">alles-schlumpf</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
and different scenes from inside homes or schools.

We were  asked to group the photos into two groups.
Ones we liked and didn’t like.
Within a short period of time,
it became very very evident,
that our pasts were dictating what we liked.

We were all adults,
but our childhoods were reflected in what we saw in a photo.
A child watching a game,
was for some an excluded, sad or lonely child,
for others a curious thinker.
A man kneeling down talking to a child,
was for some a loving father,
for others a bully.
A child laughing was for some a joy,
for others the laugh appeared superficial.

The exercise clearly demonstrated,
that whether we knew it or not,
our pasts affected how we reacted,
and were most likely affecting our thinking.

It is no secret on this blog,
that I have a past.
The trauma of which has at times,
seriously affected my thinking.
However I believe that if we know and understand our past,
and accept it has an affect on us,
we can ensure we have the measure of it.

I have found at times,
a smell, a nightmare or my childrens experiences,
have brought me back,
to the past.
On those days I have to live as normal,
in the present, with the past by my side.
Internally battling demons of all sorts,
whilst externally smiling and “acting normal”.

However I cannot and will not allow those days,
or my past to affect my children.

I have written before of trying to overcome fears,small_8899636192
by acknowledging the fact,
that at times my past has affected my thinking,
and I have battled to overcome it.

A while ago I posted on this site a post,
asking “Can I trust him with my child?”,
I am pleased to say,
that months later I am relaxing slightly,
and allowing my child go to guitar alone.
Kicking the past takes time and effort.

I am adamant,
that I will be who I am,
despite my past,
AND because of it.
I do not ever want it to define me.
I understand at times my past will call me by name,
I may even briefly revisit it,
but I will not travel back to live there.

To those of you who may be reading this,
still very much trying to journey from the past to the present,
I say keep going.
Never give up.
Some day I hope you do come live in the present.
Because it really is a good place to be.

photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc
photo credit: Pixelglo Photography via photopin cc

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14 thoughts on “Is your past really past?

  1. Past experiences shape the way we are, and the experiences that have tested us make us more determined to help others who experience similar pain. Thumbs up for your selfless decision, I think that you will make a real difference for the child at the end of the line.

    1. Thanks. All we can do is our best. I do think challenges are difficult in life but they can help shape you in a better way. I have been watching my youngest who has seen and experienced a lot this year and yes she is changed but her ability to understand and empathise has greatly matured. I am sure in time it will benefit her.

  2. I related with this. On many levels, from the past. To how you handle the present. Kudos to your words and your spirit. I had written a piece a while back, and I don’t know if you are familiar with it or not. If you are interested I will direct you to it. But this piece just reminded me of how I felt, feel and how much my journey means to me, which is why I keep moving forward. Great post Tric.

  3. what an amazing exercise in discovery. like you, i have a past, and i’ll bet we all have something or other that stays with us. i like how you acknowledge it, accept it as a part of you, and continue to move forward and life your live away from it and because of it. beautiful post tric. i cannot believe you did not win that damn award!

    1. Ha ha. Thanks Beth, maybe next year! Although not winning will be part of my past by then and I may still be traumatised! 🙂
      I have seen what happens to some who cannot move on and I have tried hard not to let that happen.

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