Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~George Santayana
Oops! I did it again. ~Britney Spears
Many of us have caught ourselves at one time or another repeating a pattern or a mistake, and thinking, “I knew better. Why did I do that again?” Our history can teach us to make better choices if we learn from it.
However, our history can also be a burden that we carry with us, weighing us down with hurts that remain unforgiven, regrets that torment us, failings that shame us, roads not taken that tease us with fantasy. We sometimes base much of our identity on history in a way that confines us and limits us. We might identify with a difficult family dynamic, challenges we faced in school, relationships that ended, a cultural environment that expected us to conform. We can be trapped by the narrative of our life.
By the time we’ve gotten to a certain age, we have a lot of history to remember. I wonder if we can remember it and learn from it without dragging it behind us or being caged by it. Can we embrace the lessons as well as the gifts with gratitude, bless all our stories, and release them to the past so that we can liberate our present and future moments?
The only wholly true thought we can hold about the past is that it is not here. ~A Course in Miracles