Sometimes life leaves us with limited choices and it is difficult to choose between those limited choices. But the goal is ultimately to get going. If you can’t really have what you like then probably the best thing to do would be to like what you have. Some years back I was in an HR training session, and heard about this whole concept of how to distinguish between success and happiness. Success was defined as getting what you like and Happiness was defined as liking what you get. What I am trying to learn and eventually accomplish is to make peace with my past, be happy with my present and aim to succeed in my future.
All these things are easier said than done. Some past events or relationships leave deep wounds on our minds and hearts. With time, they do have to slowly vanish, which is nature’s rule. But then the scars are left behind. While some people find it really easy to move on, some take a few days, some take weeks, some take months or years, and there are also people who take literally lifelong to get over their past and move on. Although it is not easy to get over an unpleasant or traumatic past, however, it is not far from possible.
Most of the times, past events tend to make our mind form certain paradigms, which may or may not be actually true. Sometimes these paradigms could be absolute illusions and nothing else. A kid who has been abused sexually during childhood, with time forms a paradigm in his/her mind that all people of the opposite gender are abusive in nature and feels insecure. Similarly, sometimes even parents do this, a child who has not been a good student during childhood is not many a times encouraged and criticized all the time , this is because of their paradigm. People who have had bad relationships have their own paradigms with time. Even I am myself one example of that. A lot of my friends stopped talking to me without even telling me why. I gradually formed a paradigm that friends are people who will not stay with you but will vanish suddenly when you need them. Similarly, I have seen people who have paradigms that if I have they been dumped once or twice, every next person in their life will also dump them.
A child who is scolded for not scoring high in exams initially feels sad, but he is hurt more when he is compared with another fellow classmate. Over a period of time, child eventually starts thinking in relative terms than absolute terms. Every time if other kids are appreciated for something, the kid starts thinking that he is not worthy of appreciation and he is not capable of it. Meaning, the kid starts to take things more personally and develops an inferiority complex.
It is true wounds that the past leaves on us psychologically can make us wary, but one thing I have seen is, all these paradigms are not true most of the time and eventually we are the losers. Past events are more to be used as steps to success. Experience makes a man better. There is really no better teacher than experience. The biggest risk in life is not taking any risk at all. That being the case, once we understand that it is nature’s rule that for every good there is a bad, for every right, there is a wrong. Even Newton’s law says this, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Brooding over something that has already occurred is going to take you nowhere.
जीवन तो गाड़ी है इस्को तो चलना है, राहों में स्टेशन तो आते हैं जाते हैं
ग़म तेरा स्टेशन है, इस्को तो जाना है चलता चल खुशियों का भी स्टेशन आना है
Many a times, our hanging on to the past affects, not just us, but also the people around us. By not moving ahead, we sometimes hold others too from moving on. It is sad but very true. Truly hanging on to the past is like hanging on to a disease. A wound whether physical or emotional has to be healed. It is not always the best option to leave it to time to heal it. We can take steps to heal our emotional wounds.
A mistake that most of us make is that we generalize events of the past. If a girl dumps a guy, the guy generalizes that all girls are the same; they would dump men and go. If one girl does that, not all girls have to do that. It is extremely unfair to generalize the character of all girls based on the character or rather an act of a single girl. If there is a bad girl, there would definitely be a good girl too. But by the generalization, the girls are not losing anything; the guy is missing some girl who might actually make a perfect match for him. Similarly, a person who failed in something a few times eventually decides, these grapes are sour.
Unpleasant past also can sometimes make a person judgmental. But just stop and think, is it fair enough? Typically when we tend to blame others for something,most often, we are trying to hide or run away from some mistake or some negative characteristic of ours. The habit of blaming others or time is something very common for a person affected by the past. Blame game is going to get you nowhere. Making peace with the past is not easy. But as I said, it is definitely possible. Some people say, accept your past. Accept it, let past thoughts just pass through your mind like clouds. But I know when you are depressed, you tend to have what is called a monkey mind.
मन की गति वायु से भी अधिक है
Mind wanders, jumps from one thought to another. Sometimes, one thought leads to another and so on, a chain of thoughts is formed. It could be overwhelming. But with time, one can definitely do it, provided, he has the will to overcome the past. I always tell people, I laugh at my past. Though deep somewhere in my heart, there are wounds which have left me deeply hurt. But I have really seen this work for me. The more I talk about making fun of it, the better I feel. It is a paradoxical thing. When you are over your past, you can laugh about it, and when you can laugh about your past, you can overcome it easily.
Different people will tell you different things, some people will say, just go into the deep roots of the past, and find out what exactly is the problem. Most of the talk therapies will involve this. Meanwhile, some people will tell you, stop thinking about past, just move, replace thoughts of the past with thoughts of present or future. Choice is completely ours. However, once you accept your past, laugh at it. It is all yours. One need not have to forget the past. You just need to change the way you look at it. Think of it as a valuable experience. If the past is such an irritating specimen, what is the point in letting the past rule you. After all it is a free world, free will. Don’t let your past rule you, gain control over your past. This minute is going to become past for the next minute, so try to make the best of each present moment rather than brooding over the past. Past is long gone, and every current moment is a gift, that is why it is called Present.