Why look at the past? I can’t tell you the number of clients who have asked me that question in one form or another. What is the point of looking back? It will just bring me pain, or stir up old feelings of hurt or anger. It won’t help me to poke around in it, or so my clients often insist.
Yet I persist in poking around anyway. There are many valuable lessons available in the past, if we only allow ourselves to see the m. One of the important lessons is seeing the patterns emerge. Have you ever looked at friend who has had multiple relationships that always end up looking exactly the same? We tend towards the same type of partners, the same types of flaws, the same types of issues. But if can stop and look at that pattern and resolve the underlying dynamics, we can create a healthy new relationship unlike any we have had before.
Another reason to poke around: have you ever had the experience of asking what you thought was an innocuous question to someone and then be surprised by an extremely angry, over-the-top response? Often when that happens, we are responding to an internal wound that came from some time in our past. These outbursts can ruin our present relationships. It is important to deal with what is presently in front of us, but we have to heal the old wounds before we can stay present.
Another reason to poke: we have already learned lessons in our past. We do not have to continually re-learn things. A waste of valuable energy. Remember the past, so you can remember those lessons.
Heal from the past, learn from the past, stay in the present. Enjoy your journey!