Friday, April 15, 2016

Prisoners of the Past


Moving on from the past, whether it is last week or 25 years ago, can be an incredibly difficult thing. 

Nothing imprisons us like the past. The hurt we have endured. The things we have done that we cannot forgive ourselves for. The things done to us that we cannot forgive others for. 

The past is painful. There is no sugar-coating that. It affects us more than we realize. Our life philosophy, our friendships, our romantic relationships, and our world view. 

But just because we carry those scars, some of which will never heal, does that mean we have to allow it to imprison us? Do we have to let our past dictate our present, and even worse, our future?

I am not saying that we should, or could, just instantly look at the past through rose-colored glasses. Quite frankly, anyone who suggests that is naive. Denial is never a good option. 

But perhaps, acceptance is. 

We are often taught to accept the things that we cannot change. To resist the urge to control things that are out of our control. Is there anything more out of our control than the past? Is there anything more unchangeable than the past? 

Perhaps, by viewing it through that lens, we can take a step forward in accepting the past. It happened. There is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Not one single thing. 

But you know what we can do something about? Tomorrow. 

Do you have a difficult time with the past? Does it haunt you?

202 comments:

  1. Qui n' pas ei de chagrins, de difficultés, de malheurs, de questionnement tout au long de sa vie ?
    Je fais avec ou comme toi j'écris des mots pour tenter de les apaiser, on aurait pu agir autrement... si on avait su !
    Bonne journée auprès de ton arbre, la photo est très belle
    Marine

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    1. Je vois que la traduction est très mal faite, je n'ai pas dis ce qui est écrit !
      J'ai dis que la où on trouve son bonheur tout est parfait et qu'il ne faut pas entrer tous dans le même moule. je crois que cette machine écrit absolument n'importe quoi

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  2. I cannot change the past, but I can change the way I look at it. And by so doing change its influence. A work in progress.
    A wise post. Thank you.

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  3. I don't care about the past, present is more important and interesting!
    Have a nice Friday

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  4. the past is the past and generally I only allow it to haunt me until I've written it as poetry

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  5. Our past is extremely important because - whether it was good or bad - the past is the foundation of what we are today.

    I've had an extremely turbulent past, with an enormous amount of unhappiness and regrets - - but there were also golden times and incredibly precious moments that I cherish.

    I think there should be balance in evaluating the past. Don't let the bad things of the past consume the present. Avoid the dark shadows, learn to forgive yourself and others for what has happened. Learn from mistakes...... and always remember the good.

    To completely forget the past, to expunge it from our existence, would be dangerous - not to mention impossible.

    Good post, Keith!

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  6. Hi Keith! It's so good to see you again.
    Oh yes, I definitely have things in the past that are difficult to remember. I find I have to just accept them, learn from them and try to move on. It reminds me of that famous prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

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  7. I have nothing wrong with the past, but, I have a dark with the future, please don't let the future kill us.

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  8. Hi, Keith! I agree, we have not to allow the past to imprison us, never. We have to look to our future.

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  9. I would be lying if I said some things from the past still didn't haunt...but most of the time I ignore them until something causes them to leap to the surface; then a battle erupts and I whack them on the head and force them back into the place they deserve to be.

    It's not always easy to accept the things we cannot change...but it is worth our while to try the best that we can. There are demons that like to persist. One just has to be stronger than they are, and not let them win.

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  10. I definitely have some difficulties with the past, however, I really try to "live in the moment", as I find that we don't do this enough! We are stuck in the past and worried about the future and both are beyond our reach; however, this moment is something we can do something about...and enjoy.

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  11. The past does haunt me and I often have trouble when those apparitions decide to surface. I now try to live in the moment as time is "now" the future is promised to no one. You are right we cannot change the past it is what it was but, we can learn from the past.

    I hope you are enjoying the moments of life!

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  12. I don't lug around the past with me; the present keeps me busy enough! Every now and again I take a glimpse at days gone by but leave them where they belong - in the past. Acceptance doesn't always come easily but it is very liberating.

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  13. I think this is why people have a hard time repairing a relationship. Especially when they try to get "back together". They'll never forget why they broke up the first time.

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  14. Well said Keith. After you've learned from past errors, there should be an eject button that frees you to move on to your life.
    One of the old race comedies Mad Mad World (I think) one of the characters sits in down in a sports car and rips off the rear-view mirror. The other guy says why did you do that. The driver said what is behind you does not matter.
    I thought that was profound.
    R

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  15. I think it's simple to say accept the past... I know for myself that I have forgiven myself for things I've done in the past, as well I truly have forgiven people that have hurt me in the past.

    I don't want to hold on to that sadness or anger... even saying all this, I find the most difficult part is accepting some of the things that have altered my future irrevocably. ..

    Moving on is very important though.. we all need to keep working on it and I'm certainly going to keep moving ahead xox

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  16. Everyone struggles with it. But we have to accept it's something we can't change and it made us who we are today.

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  17. Hello Keith, great post and question. I try not to hold onto the past or bad things that happen. Remembering the good times and learning from mistakes and moving on is more important to me. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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  18. I have a very difficult time letting go of the past. There are some things I really wish I could let go of, but they just stay stuck in there.

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  19. Hey Keith, I like your new bio ~ how exciting you're teaching English.

    As for the past, it is what it is. We can't change it, but we can learn from it and move forward.

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  20. There are difficult, sad, and horrible things that happened in my past, but there are also good, funny, and amazing ones as well. The past doesn't haunt me. Maybe I haunt it. I often dream I am twenty and in college again, the entirety of my life waiting to be experienced.

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  21. The past is a burden that weighs us down...

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  22. I would agree with your sentiment that we can do something about tomorrow and to focus there.

    Cheers - Ellen | thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com

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  23. Very wise and true Keith, you always write such important posts that seem to come at the best time for me! Thank you for this - I am struggling at the moment with things so reading posts like these is always helpful. I have an account on Instagram but I haven't been able to post anything as I need to upgrade my phone! - Tasha

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  24. I think I'm pretty accepting of the past and the people in it. Only way to move forward. :)

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  25. There are moments of my past that "loom up" every once in awhile. If I could, would I change some of those moments/chapters . . . yes. The other side of that . . . I wouldn't be who I am today . . . if those times hadn't been there. It makes for a "Lynne Story" . . . just for me. Besides, "living in the now" works for me today. (Great reflective Keith!)

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  26. Cryptic, and c'mon man, tell us what the problem is? Only a fool would argue that the past and the present does not effect us and none can forget the past, though you can try to ignore it.

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  27. I think that if it weren't for my 'past' I wouldn't be who I am today; and since I like that person I don't struggle with the past. There is the present to think about....which is more important and meaningful in my life.

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  28. I guess I am lucky. My past was good, no major regrets, no truly horrible things. Oh sure, there were "boo-boos" and goofs, but nothing that didn't teach me something an nothing that did damage. If anything, I carried my "baggage" to protect me from not having anything bad happen. I have long let that go -- and you know what? Nothing did. I do my best to leave my day with no unfinished business, no words spoken that will hurt. Sometimes we wonder "what if" -- and that can be interesting. But I prefer "what IS." And of course, "what WILL be." This is a lovely post and good words to remember.

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  29. Some parts of my past do haunt me, but I try to put them aside and carry on with today and tomorrow :)

    betty

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  30. I totally agree. We can't change the past. Perhaps we learn from it. We don't know the future, so why worry about it? All we have is the present. We should live each day to do our best. Great topic. Have a nice weekend.

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  31. I have had difficult times and how I look at those times evolves with me each year I'm graced with life.

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  32. I still occasionally beat myself up over things that have happened in my past - I've learned over time to try and be more gentle with myself,learn from past mistakes and move on.

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  33. It's easy to get stick in the past- now of course the past has it's important place- for the most part I release myself from past mistakes

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  34. But I always remember that there is good things in my past too - and those are the things that I focus on - I can't change the bad - but I can remember the good and live on with that :)

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  35. Thanks for this inspiring nugget, I think we all have problems with our past, some still unresolved. Acceptance is a good thing.

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  36. The past makes us what we are today. It's our approach to our past that is key. We can take the lessons learned and be a healthy individual or we can be an unhealthy individual. It all goes back to our approach. I had an unhappy past, but I'm very happy with the person I am today.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

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  37. What a great topic Keith.

    The past used to bother me. I struggled, and struggled, and struggled some more. Finally, when I was 30, I entered therapy. It's only been through therapy that my eyes feel like they've finally been opened to the truth. The past is exactly that- the past.

    I've made mistakes. Mistakes do not a bad person make. I am human, and I have flaws. I will continue to make mistakes.

    At some point, once you realize this about yourself, you slowly begin to accept that everyone else is the same as you. They are human. They are flawed. They will make mistakes, but that doesn't necessarily make them bad people. I truly feel we are all just trying to do the best we can (for the most part).

    If I can forgive myself for the mistakes I've made, I can forgive others for the mistakes they've made. As the popular saying goes, bitterness keeps you from flying.

    I truly feel once you've find forgiveness, life will be different from then on out. The past is the past- I'm safe now, I'm never going back, and we can never change anything that happened. The most important thing is to learn the lessons that the past has given us.

    Another way I think about it is (especially for those who've had a difficult past) look how strong you are! You've slogged through the worst life has to offer and here you are, still alive. Make the choice to see yourself as strong, not as a prisoner of the past :-)

    Have a great weekend!

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  38. __Yesterdays' sprained ankles, create tomorrows' careful steps. Today_?

    todays steps
    down yesterdays dusty path
    clouds rise

    _m





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  39. The past seems to trip us up if we look at it too long EVEN if the past was good. I always think of the scenario that when you're walking you can't turn your head to look backwards and look forward at the same time. You'll probably fall or stumble.

    Teresa

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  40. There are a few things that come back to haunt or rear their ugly heads, BUT I recognize them sooner and can deal with them much better now. We should always learn from the past, take what we need and leave the rest behind.

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  41. It sure can be a struggle, to get on with life and not let the past bog me down. Which happens sometimes, but I don't let it get me down too long anymore. Guess I figured out how short life is and want to enjoy what I get.

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  42. This is deep stuff. At age 76 I can bring up a few things that I regret. What I've had to do is learn from my past so that the same mistakes are not made again. As a teacher I sometimes meet former students who apologize profusely for their misbehavior. It's always something I don't remember. I hope confession helps them.

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  43. I know the most difficult times are yet to come in my life, being a muscular dystrophy, but I haven’t needed to worry much as things are uncertain. The past doesn’t bother me much because I started to live with what I have, so the thought of past, whatever let it be put me ahead rather pulling me down.

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  44. I like the thought of being a pioneer of my past. I definitely feel like a survivor of my past. Acceptance is important. We can't live in the present or hope for the future if we don't accept the past.

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  45. Totally agree: we can't change the past. But accept... Should we make the lessons out of past? Certainly! If we look deeper inside of what caused the hurt in the past, if we would change the pattern in our life so then could foresee next step in familiar situation and respond on it instead of blaming someone... It's up to us!

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  46. Like us all I've had hard times in my life as well, but it does no good to dwell on the past or to dream too much into the future. I try to live each day the best that I can. My faith in God gets me through the hard times and lets me enjoy the good times. : )
    I think if we forgive the hurt that people have done us, it helps US to move on.

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  47. I've been fortunate perhaps in that there has not been that much bad stuff in my life. Sure, I've had hurts, but the good has always overtaken the bad for me. And like you point out there's nothing I can do to change anything in my past.

    I enjoy reflecting on the past, especially for the purpose of writing memoir material. I wouldn't say I'm a prisoner of my past. Instead of a prison, my past is my schooling where I've learned what I know and became who I am.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  48. The past makes us who we are. All the crap that piles up in it is always going to be there. You can dwell on it or get over it/accept it and move the heck on, is my philosophy. Except I use more colorful language when I say it lol

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  49. There is both good and bad in the past for me, and I expect that trend will hold true for the future as well. Acceptance and gratitude are the keys to making peace with it all.

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  50. There are always ties to the past good or bad. Only one can choose to move on and make a better future.

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  51. I shake the past off so easy..it's done. it's over..move on...and I do..never look back..nothing I can do about it..make the future better..

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  52. Hi Keith, I love your question today because it kind of hits home to me … I suppose I am fascinated with the past. I think you’ve been around my blog enough to know that I collect old travel memorabilia, especially old stuff related to travel by train or ship. My reason for collecting this look at the past is my fascination with the way people traveled back around the late 1800s and early 1900s. I don’t dwell on wishing I was back in those times but I do often think about how it would have been great to have experienced travel when it was a total adventure. I sure agree with you that we should not let the past control us, however, as has been said before, those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it. So, although it is easier said than done, let us use the past to enjoy tomorrow. Could that be what life is all about? Thank you for sharing your blog and your kind comments on mine!

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  53. Yes, sometimes a person from the past shows up like a recurring nightmare via the internet. It's one of the reasons I use an avatar. Haven't seen this ex in decades, but he won't let go of the past. Scary for me (like harassment) but I've dealt with it as I can and refuse to reply at all. An interesting topic, since most of us have things in our past that bother us. We try not to think about them. . .

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  54. I do allow how things were to color how I do things today. Slowly I am getting better. It's a process.

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  55. In some ways I wish I would have handled certain things differently. I do however think we learn from our mistakes. Anything that was bad that happened, happened as a learning lesson for us to grow.

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  56. I don't have an especially difficult time with the past. Oh sure, there are quite a few instances where I would like a "do over." But, I am convinced that, good or bad, my past is that which has woven the fabric which is the person that I am today. If I had a time machine and was able to go back to fix something, my entire life in 2016 would be drastically different. And that WOULD be especially difficult. To channel my "inner Popeye," I yam what I yam.

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  57. I always have quite a difficult time with the past. I can't even seem to quite get over it. I know I should, but things always seem to creep up. I need to work more on acceptance.

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  58. I don't have many past issues from my childhood, but I have been known to carry "hurts" (as I call them)from my early years being married. I try not to, and I have left a lot of that behind. Life's just too dang short, ya know?!

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  59. Your post comes at just the right time, Keith, as I'm going through some changes in my life right now. Yes, we must move forward, but sometimes the past has a way of holding on to us, doesn't it? And I don't think we should forget it completely because that's part of who we were. Do we ever really get over hurt from the past? Not sure, but what I do know is that it only harms us to be angry about it forever. If we want peace, we must keep smiling, keep loving. Thank you for your post today. I often want to share your posts with all my real life friends. They always make us think and are filled with wonder. :)

    Have a beautiful weekend, and thanks for your comment on my broken wing post. It meant a lot to me.

    ~Sheri

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  60. Fortunately, I do not. I have learned to move beyond hurts and unpleasantries. I smile, and go on. Life's too short to let negativity rob you of the good things.

    Big hugs, honey...

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  61. I'm grappling with a nuance of the impact of my/everyone's past: So much imprinting happens way before we can process and remember it. My instinctive reactions are much harder to control and work on, when I don't have clarity on why I do the things I do. You know? But it all generally comes down to defending my/one's safety (emotional and physical), I think. So I guess that's enough of a basis for change. It has to be.

    Thank for your the hearty conversation, Keith. That's why this place and you are so popular.

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  62. This is such a great post. Moving on from the past is always hard, but giving time seems to help.

    https://ficklemillennial.wordpress.com

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  63. Great post! I have a tendency when I have a down or depressed day to dwell on things I've seen as parenting fails, even though both of my kids think I was a wonderful mother!

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  64. Our pasts are such a mixed bag--both bitter and sweet. I love how you ask if the past haunts us. Haunt is such a powerful word. I like the idea of not letting the past have all the power to rule over us in negative ways.

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  65. Wonderful post - i like what I've seen of your blog. For me - I've learned that if I haven't forgiven the past - then it is still "chained" to my present and i view events in the now - through the lens of either guilt, shame, regret, resentment and I carry it forward. I'm working on forgiveness and choosing peace - all the time... and I now find my present is filled with anticipation of the next moment.

    I will definitely be back.

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  66. Sometimes it comes down to choosing between regret and guilt. I go for regret --one loses oftener but what's left is easier to live with.

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  67. great post. I wouldn't say the past haunts me but there are a few incidents that I don't like to think about. It can be really hard. But I feel like most people have that with some thing or another? I'm kind of a sentimental gal so it's def. a struggle more than other things.

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  68. A very thought-provoking post, Keith. The past, as I've once heard it said, is behind us for a reason and there is nothing we can do but look ahead to a brighter future. Thank you for sharing.

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  69. Keith, thank you so much for you comment on my blog site. My husband is very ill right now. Past or future are not registering with me at the moment. The only time we have is now. Life is too short to hold grudges xx

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  70. I did have a problem for several years but thankfully, I learned to totally embrace forgiveness and amazingly, I was set free. What a feeling. Now days, I hang on to nothing negative. I'm too lazy to carry that stuff around.

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  71. The more stories I'm exposed to the more I love my childhood and past. I've always been loved, sometimes even unconditionally, and while there have been difficult and painful experiences I've never had to go through them alone. And I love that corny saying about scars - that they're proof that you're stronger than whatever tried to kill you.

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  72. An ex was recently in town who requested we meet up for a drink. Prior to meeting, I reminisced about the good times we'd had together and tried to remember why it didn't work out. Met for said drink and quickly remembered why. I need to ditch those rose colored glasses once and for all.

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  73. Beautiful post. The past is indeed unchangeable, I think we can only do our best with now and tomorrow...

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  74. "The things done to u that we cannot forgive others for... Well, Keith, I've been trying to not be a prisoner of the past, but I can't say I'm doing a very good job. Baby steps.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  75. I have a difficult time with the past. I find it impossible to forget...It's very hard to deal with.

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  76. I guess it depends on what the past was. Some are worse then others. I find this a hard subject to deal with but your entry makes me think I need to work harder on it.

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  77. I agree with you -- what's past is past and it's best if one can leave it behind. However, I find that I have dealt with the memories of some traumas and believed i have moved on, then years later it comes back and must be dealt with all over again at a new stage of my life!

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  78. Yes, it can be hard to let go but I think with a positive attitude and hope for a better tomorrow we can ~ And it helps to be around people who are positively inspiring ~

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  79. I'm glad you dropped by my blog and commented! Thanks!
    I've been thinking about forgiveness lately and came across this quote: "Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart."

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  80. I'm glad you dropped by my blog and commented! Thanks!
    I've been thinking about forgiveness lately and came across this quote: "Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart."

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  81. Currently reading a book that mentioned how we need to learn from and move ahead from the past. There is nothing we can do about the past, but we can move positively ahead into the future. Made me think about the things I've been holding on to, some of which I hadn't considered before. Good food for thought. Have a great weekend!

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  82. Great post. And true. I'm sure we all fight demons of the past. And acceptance is what we all strive for.

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  83. my lousy brain has a mind of its own and i've given up trying to tell it what to do. if it won't let go of the past, it's out of my control. but i can throw lots of drugs and alcohol at the son of a bitch just to get even.

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  84. It used to haunt me, but now I wouldn't change it because I would not be where I am now and I like where I am!

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  85. That's a hard one. We should learn from our past experiences. If something still haunts, that's some lesson that still hasn't been learned. It's funny how things get kicked up at the oddest times.

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  86. I think our past can come back to haunt us when we are sick or in a vulnerable state but if it is raw like when it first happened then we need help. There is no harm in asking for help. Some of us have found a way to carry that baggage so the weight is manageable but others need help to redistribute that weight so we find a better way to carry it. We all have baggage but it depends on the way we carry it that can make it lighter or too heavy....the choice does like with us.

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  87. The past is passed, so dwelling in it only stops your journey. Learn from it, acknowledge it, and move on. You can hang on to memories and let go of the difficulties. "I wish I had..." will help no one.

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  88. A very wise post and one that is very thought provoking. My motto is to move forward by learning from any past mistakes made. One step at a time, moving forward here.

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  89. We all need to put our mind in different spots. Even jail it and reconsider for a moment.
    Coffee is on

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  90. You are absolutely right. Many things happened to me that I could hold on to and let imprison me as a victim, but I have always been able to let go and move on. I know that the worst things that happened were not of my doing, not my fault. Learning, living, letting go is something we must do every single day.

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  91. There are most certainly things from my past that still haunt my mind but there are also things from my past that I was glad to move on from. Even now as I prepare for graduation I find it hard to prepare myself to move on from something that took so much of my time and the people that I see so often. It is definitely hard to let go sometimes.

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  92. I only have a problem with the past when people try to revise it. Some people, in my family, are compelled to "re-tweek" it endlessly, in an effort to get it just right for posterity. It's a drag, for sure.

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  93. Thank you for commenting on my blog recently.

    Sometimes the difficult times in my past have taught me to make better decisions in the present.

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  94. As a shy introverted thing, I found my childhood difficult in respect of building relationships with my peers. But that is firmly in my past and I don't dwell on it, allow it to interfere with my present. What was, was, and there is no way I can change it. It is true that I have learnt from it and endevour to reach out to who I perceive as lonely souls.

    Politically, I believe we should never forget our history otherwise we would never learn. But looking at the world today - I don't think we ever do...

    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  95. Sometimes we watch the documentary Babies in my humans development class and my students are often shocked by life in Namibia. But I always point out how happy the people seem who love there. They are quite content and laugh frequently.

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  96. Yes, the past is past. A change can bring much brightness into one's
    life. How timely is this poignant post of yours. I want to tell you I'm starting over with my true self and leaving all behind. It's fitting and
    and proper to have my own name on my obit. Not that I'm planning a trip in the immediate future......but sometime. LOL

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  97. We are formed by the past but, hopefully, not imprisoned by it. Your snow looks a bit sparse - I may have to send you some...

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  98. Hello Keith, Great question/thoughts... That's never easy --but the older I get, the more I know that the 'past is the past' --and that's where it needs to stay. We can all play Monday morning Quarterback--wishing that things had turned out differently... I feel sorry for people who LIVE in the past ---and carry bitterness and grief along with them. I say "Forgive others and move on"...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  99. The past has brought us to this point. The good, the bad, the ugly, the smiles, the laughter, the joy! There can be great pain and suffering from the past...but it should not define you as a person. With acceptance of that and surrender of it, the pain and suffering of past events can be relinquished along with guilt and shame. Forgiveness of self must come first. Through pain and suffering, the soul has the ability to awaken unto itself. It's true self, not the ego or false self which fights to keep you in the darkness, where pain and suffering thrive. The dark night of the soul is very real. When the true self recognizes its indwelt spirit, which we are all born with, only then will the light shine through. And you will be free! Love and Peace in abundance to you, Keith. Nice to have you back in blogland! Aloha!

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  100. I just seen your comment on my blog an decided to check yours out! Love what I see.

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  101. One may not wish to be bothered with the past, but still it should not be ignored. One learns from the past to help make improvements along the way or correct a similar mistake that presents itself. Certainly there are some good out of it!

    Hank

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  102. What a great post. Denial is never a good option. true dat. It's better to accept the past since there's nothing we can do about it. I love this post.

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  103. I very much agree with your sentiments in this post. I have things that I did in the past that I bitterly regret now, but I know there is nothing I can do about them to change it except learn, move on and try to be a better person. Now I escape through my camera and my artistic side and find myself there. Thank you for this post and for stopping by my blog this week. It was so good to "meet" you.

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  104. By the way....your images are stunning.

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  105. I totally agree too...only sometimes we tend to get caught up in the hurt and dwell on it for too long.
    That is SO true...yesterday can not be changed. Tomorrow can.

    A wise and wonderful post, Keith.
    Many thanks for sharing your insights!

    Have a great day.:))

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  106. your image is beautiful, really beautiful!!! i have a past, a horrible childhood that haunts me every single day. if you lived it, there is no way to forget it....you want to but can't. you just can't. i'm not in prison, but my past will always be part of who i am, perhaps i allow that...it haunts me but it was horrific.

    i do enjoy and have a great love of life now, but the past is always there!!!

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  107. i'm more about nostalgia than being haunted by the past. but too much nostalgia isn't good either and it'd be better to accept whatever your past is and let it be in the past no matter whether it was good or bad. otherwise it'll get more difficult to live in the present! xx

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  108. wow, thats was hauntingly beautiful and certainly rang true for me,,
    thank you for sharing this today,, its such a joy to read, I know its a bit sad but we need all things in balance, sad and happy,,we can't change the past,, I wish we could and I would not be going blind ,,, all we can do is live today,, let tomorrow worry about its self,,and leave the past where it belongs, behind us.

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  109. Your words really touched me! The more I see my daughter more I feel the joy of living in the present! The perpetual dilemma regarding past eases often with a broader view towards life.

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  110. To go forward by always looking backwards is a good way to stumble all through life, right? Wise words. :-)

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  111. I don't try to change my past, and I don't dwell on it usually. I did just have a big hurdle that stumped me for a bit. I was sad, angry, hurt, and then...the missing puzzle piece. Everything made sense and I was able to let go of the past and move forward.

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  112. Great post--life-changing thoughts! Releasing ourselves from painful pasts means freedom for the future.

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  113. One of the best things about being old is that it gives you the present day. For most of my life I wanted to live in the now, to be present in the now. Being old, each day is a gift, not much point in worrying about or even looking forward to tomorrow and certainly no point in regretting the past. I'm not perfect at thinking either back or forward, but something has changed and it's a wondrous thing, for me.....

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  114. Hello Keith, good question...I am one who often thinks about the past. Lately, I think about my childhood very much. My thoughts and memories are wonderful ones, fortunately. I believe that the past is a part of what we are now, it is our roots, our traditions. But I agree with you that it's not worth it to spend our present resenting our past or blaming ourselves for things not done or done wrong. Easier to say than to do though...Best wishes and thank you for commenting on my blog! Mary

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  115. Nothing makes seeing the future than living in the past.

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  116. I like how you emphasized acceptance being the key. Sometimes you just have to accept that something bad happened and try not to let it ruin your life.

    Good post!

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  117. I cannot even begin to express how much I love this post.
    To take it a step further, I think acceptance is the start to truly changing your life by allowing any pain from the past to become a positive thing for you. Allowing it to change you for the better because you have learned something, survived, and are stronger for it. If we could all accept that key aspect of pain, the past would be a bit easier to remember, and yet, let go of.

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  118. Acceptance is definitely the key to moving forward. I don't dwell on my past. I like to think that those bad and good experiences helped shape me into who I am today, and I am in a very good place right now.

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  119. Thanks so much for coming by my place and following. I will follow you right back.
    I think most of us have SOMEthing in our past that we can't seem to forgive ourselves of.
    At the first of ea new year, I chose a word for the year....mine now is ACCEPTANCE" and just uttering the word to myself when something happens I have a hard time with, seems to help. Anything we can do to get past a bad memory is a GOOD thing.

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  120. oops, meant to add that KEITH is a beloved name in our family. When my mama had a new baby boy, she named him KEITH, after a cousin we all loved. When I had our little boy 52 yrs ago, we named him KEITH...when he had twin daughters and no sons, one of the little girls was named ANDREA KEITH, after her daddy. Needless to say, KEITH is a very favorite name for me. :)

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  121. Yes, we have to accept what has happened in the past or it will sour our present and future. Thanks for sharing this. :-)

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  122. Thats a serious questions - I think we are haunted by ghosts - but I think its a matter of what impact meeting these ghosts has that is most important.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  123. Great post, and very comforting. Thanks for sharing these wise words.

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  124. I think for sanity's sake we should do our best to look forwards and not back... and yet, there's always that certain something that's impossible to forgive and forget :)

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  125. I think for sanity's sake we should do our best to look forwards and not back... and yet, there's always that certain something that's impossible to forgive and forget :)

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  126. I definitely think the best thing we can take from the past are the lessons going into the future (and of course happy memories, but those have a bit of danger if we let them be more important than the here and now)

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  127. I am guilty of spending too much time on looking back. I am forever trying to figure out who I am, why I am the way I am and what happened in my past to shape who I am now. I was always told that I was an over sensitive child so maybe I absorbed negativity that was around me. A very thought provoking post!

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  128. Oh, yeah, I have a real hard time with my past. I'm working on letting it go. I like your idea of acceptance.

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  129. My past no longer haunts me, sometimes it influences my decisions for the future. But I think it has made me wiser.

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  130. Great post! Acceptance is key! Have a lovely day <3

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  131. Beautiful post. I believe we should all carry on and don't look back!

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  132. Oh boy! I still have things that nag me from almost 50 years ago.

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  133. I had to have a big op , cancer...the fear gave me Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which made it very hard to move on . I,m getting there very slowly .Love one another and live in peace .

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  134. Great post!. I have cultivated acceptance consciously and I can say that past is not chasing me right now, but achieving this point has demanded me much (inner) work. As far as I am concerned, past can only be accepted but in order to do that, past must be healed. Hope to see you around soon xx

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  135. Good topic! In your questions I can see the answers, also. The past must be seen as a lesson, it doesn't imprison us, it is about choice, how we deal with...
    All the best and a great week ahead!

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  136. We all have a piece of past that we would like to erase, but life is not meant to be traveled backwards. The best we can try to do is learn from our mistakes, never regret, forgive but not forget. Have a glorious week!

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  137. Another teacher of English! Yay! University?

    We are taught two things: to let go of control and to accept what is, and its opposite, that if we make "the right choices" life will turn out. That's my take on it.

    I like the end of this piece. Because regardless of what we were taught, we have minimal control and it's usually on a very short rope--like most of our tomorrows.

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  138. What an inspirational post! We definitely worry about our past, but really the past is the past and we can't do anything about it. We can do something about the future. Thanks for sharing! :)
    ~Jess

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  139. It is nice to validate that there is nothing we can do about the past. Absolutely nothing. So we have to move on. It is the universal human experience that you tap into here, it is quite wonderful and deep how you manage to write about such experiences that we evolve through in life. Really nice post as usual.

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  140. I think we all, at some point, have difficulties in our past, whether it's the loss of a loved one or some other haunting memory.

    You're right, we shouldn't worry about things that have passed. Sometimes it's not so easy to move on and forget, but in time, thoughts, memories and scars fade, and don't torment us quite as much.

    I love this post :)

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  141. I have always struggled with letting go of the past, but I'm getting a little better at it the older I get.

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  142. Your post made me think of the lyrics to a song that talks about scars as evidence of a "place where there has been a healing."
    Bless you. And thank you kindly for stopping By The Lamp Light and leaving kind words.

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  143. I think you've hit it right on. You just have to accept the past, and do what you can do today to try to make the future bright.

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  144. Wow. Spot on. I've always been a very reflective person, perhaps too much for my own good, and you're absolutely right when you say that the past can be painful. Whether it's a negative memory or a positive memory, it still hurts to think about, knowing that you can't go back. Can't change anything. Can't do it all again. It's definitely very hard. But moving on is all we can do.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog earlier. :) Loved this post!

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  145. Beautiful image! As for the past, it is such a mixed bag. My doctor wants me to delve into it to see if there is some forgotten trauma, but I think if there is, I had a good reason for forgetting it!

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  146. Interesting question. I try not to let the past interfere with my present or future, possibly to a fault. I'm of the notion of what's passed is past and move on. I have many regrets and many people I miss, but dwelling on them doesn't change a thing. I try to keep moving forward, remembering that those experiences and people have shaped who I am but they don't have to define me.

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  147. always enjoy your questions and I'm always interested in everyone's comments.
    I do have issues from the past and I've had to accept not ever understanding why people do what they do. Probably since I've been in my mid 30's the anger for the past has fallen aside and I focus on today and my family, friends and the little differences I can make in this world. :)

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  148. Here's what bugs me about the past; I can't remember if I've already read this and left a comment. I wouldn't want to be declared redundant.

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  149. I try to forget the bad stuff in the past and remember the good. Occasionally the bad stuff comes back to do a little haunting, but rarely does it stay long.

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  150. You don't live to be 68 without some pain. I think that's what we need to realize about everyone we meet. No one gets through this life without some kind of pain, loss, betrayal or suffering. But there is always someone worse off than you and that's what keeps me grateful.

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  151. I can't read everything here. I am 12 and I also have memories ;-)Not bad things.

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  152. One incidence from the past has probably kept me caught onto itself. However, I've learnt that its important to let go. Not just for yourself, but also for those who are yours.

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    1. Btw Keith, it's good to hear from you after so long. I'm left handed too, plus I'm moving to Europe this September :)

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  153. I learned that a difficult past can be an opportunity to learn important life lessons - resilience, forgiveness, and empathy. I still think about the past, but with different eyes. Time does put things in perspective and life experience has given me empathy for myself and others.

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  154. I absolutely love this! It's so true that accepting the past is the only way we can successfully move on from it. As a suffer of depression and anxiety, this is something I need to tell myself more often. I love your blog, thank you for introducing me to it!

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  155. I totally get this. There have been times when I've found it hard to let the past go and it's really not helped. Getting better at it the older I get. Maybe I'm getting wiser. Thanks for visiting me and commenting on my A-Z travels.

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  156. Well said. I try to keep moving ahead thou losing a son was the hardest....

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  157. I needed to hear this today~ I was talking to my college girl about some things I am scarred with. I was bullied and I have trouble announcing on social media-I am published. Sometimes the bullies comment and I cringe. It is nice things. I believe they bullied so many people they don't remember what they did-but I will never forget. My daughter wants me to move on from it-but it still affects me.

    Troutbirder-I am so, sorry!

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  158. Great words of wisdom! We can learn from our past mistakes, but don't dwell on them. Thanks for the reminder that I need to keep moving forward. And thanks for visiting my blog!

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  159. I did but I have learnt to accept it and society has changed so it doesn't sound so bad these days/

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  160. Hallo Keith, danke für dein Kommentar auf meinem Blog. Ich werde nachher auf deinem auch mal Stöbern :) Erster Eindruck: sehr interessant :)

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  161. I must forgive you
    You must forgive me too
    If we wanna try to put things back
    The way they used to be
    'Cause there's no sense in going over and over
    The same things as before
    So let's not bring the past back anymore

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  162. Thankyou for visiting my blog! :) There's no denying that the past is forever there, sometimes forgotten, sometimes still very painful but I know that we learn the most from the things that didn't go to plan. That's how it's been for me.

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  163. Yes, I go over and over old hurt and crimes and misdemeanours of all sorts, like a video playing in my mind (think there is a term for that.) not good for anyone.
    An old school friend popped in and said at high school he though I was aloof, not wanting to have anything to do with the kids that weren't in my group. That was the opposite of what I thought of myself! But have to let these things go!

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  164. This is an excellent meditation. I am old enough to have forgotten all the bad stuff ;)). (Seriously, I grew up a long time ago and accepted that people usually do their best. )

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  165. The past is about learning, the present for getting it right, and the future for making sure we don't repeat the bad things from the past.

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  166. We can't forget the past, sometimes we can forgive but we always must move on.

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  167. I'm living a lot in the past myself, too, but it's more about relishing the good things. I tend to forget about the bad stuff.

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  168. Tough one to answer. I am practical as a person, so I try not to be held back by the past... but... occasionally... :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  169. I like the word surrender; it's still a choice but it ends the power struggle.

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  170. This year I've gone a long way with my mental health. Mania has had the best of me for as long as I can remember. Hurting those close to me most. Everyday I break down and reminisce. I've overcome the fact I can't change who or how I was growing up, and since I've become the person I dreamed to be. Besides my occasional manic attacks. However realizing my illness will help with my present and future. Realizing my illness is also what makes me full of regret.

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  171. The past haunts at times. However, I recently discovered that we do not remember our past the way it really was. That's a possible relief. I remember younger, I would take a wonderful moment and dwell on it so that I would remember it in the future. I realized back then there was too much to remember. Thanks for visiting my blog (moon pics). Blessings, Janet

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  172. Loved this. This is something I've really struggled with. Beautifully worded.

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  173. Thanks for the comment on my blog, I like this post too. I would say that the past is most importantly to be learned from so mistakes are not repeated, and we can learn from the pasts of others than ourselves too.

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  174. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. It led me back to you. I like the statement in your profile that you are a left-handed man in a right-handed world.

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  175. Yes the past does haunt me at times especially when I think about things I would have/should have done differently. But then I just use the old excuse that if it was meant to happen it would have happened...or something of the sorts... it's just easier to think that way at times. Great post thank you :-)

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  176. Thank you for visiting my blog. This post was beautiful. And honestly, yes, it does. The past haunts me now and then when I let it. I try to push it out of my head and I can be at peace with it for certain stretches of time, but it does come back now and then. This is a beautiful post.

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  177. Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment, it means everything.

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  178. So true! After grieving for the past, we have to learn to accept it.

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  179. Hey Keith,

    Dude, I learn from the past. In fact, I had a total breakdown, a humbling, defining moment in my life that has shaped me for the better.

    My mistakes do not define me, what I learn from my mistakes, defines me.

    And yes, I finally arrived with one of my eagerly anticipated comments :)

    Take care, my illustrious friend.

    Gary

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  180. The pictures you post are beautiful. Are they yours or did you find them somewhere? I'm just curious. :)

    Rachelle @ Shell's Stories

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  181. Looking forward to the next entry in your journal ! : ) Wishing you a lovely day .

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  182. This post fits my current mind set so well. A friend recommended I read "Radical Acceptance" by Tara Brach. I'm in the middle of it. Letting go of the past for me is something like a spiral. I think I have, and then I'm triggered back and work my way to letting go again, and it keeps spiraling. But it seems that each time it takes less effort to let go. So maybe that is progress? Or maybe that is just life itself. In the meantime, the scars, the physical ones, the spiritual ones, the mental and emotional ones are all evidence that I have lived.

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  183. Sometimes I think the hardest thing about the past is even recognizing it when it is biting you in the rear. Sometimes you do things and you don't even realize it or if you do you might not realize why until you learn to look at it differently.

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  184. My favorite quote about the past.
    ..when the past comes calling, don't answer ...it has nothing new to give you.....

    might not be the exact words but the sentiment is the same.

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  185. Acceptance is very difficult, very difficult indeed. But it is the only path that helps you get along. I have struggled with some difficulties that have been at first impossible to accept (divorce, sickness of my son...). It has taken up to 3 years to accept these but after that I could breathe better.

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  186. I have done many things i am not really proud of when i was younger. But those experienced made me the person that i am today, unapologetic, weird and highly popular with students :)
    Ces't la vie.

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  187. There are definitely things in the past that I struggle with, especially my own shortcomings--BUT--I try to keep in mind the quote "I am the me I choose to be". I try to learn from my mistakes and move forward, and remind myself that something stupid I did yesterday or last month or two years ago doesn't dictate what I can do today or tomorrow.

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  188. the past DID haunt me until I received psychotherapy. now the past is in the past, and I look forward to the future.

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  189. I love these musings, well said. Thanks from a new follower.

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  190. Yes, this a powerful quote. It is a way of living a life. Thank you again for joining my blog.

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  191. I love the picture
    best
    susa from germanny

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  192. The past is over. It no longer exists. Do not consider it. All we have is the NOW. Live in the NOW.

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  193. Love the post - and I believe the saying

    "if the past calls, don't answer, it has nothing new to offer you.

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  194. I needed to read this today. Good words, New friend.

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