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,
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.
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.