We all have pasts. Some of them happy, some tragic, most a mixture of the two. If you have read any of my previous blogs you will know that I am a great believer in the power of getting to grips with that past so that we can learn from it. But there comes a point where we have learnt the lessons, and tidied up the box. Then what? Do we put it back on the shelf, or hide it back under the bed? Do we choose to throw it out?
I suspect there is no real answer to this. Each of us needs to choose whether to hold on to the memories of past experiences, perhaps with people we once cherished, to discard them, shut them out, or to let them simply fade to the point that they cannot hurt us any more. We may well make different choices about different events in our lives. But the thing that I keep coming back to is trust.
If we have been hoodwinked, hurt, abandoned, betrayed, or abused one of the inevitable lessons learned is greater caution in who and what we trust. While this seems sensible from a self preservation perspective, could it also be holding us back from new, positive experiences? Potential new loves? When does healthy caution morph into paralysis by distrust? Where is the line between learning from the past and letting the past control our future? These are questions that I have not yet got the answers to, but it is important to at least wrestle with them.
Today I was struck by the fresh new leaves bursting out in the wood. The trees resorb the resources they put into their old leaves and then shed them to make room for new growth. At least in some cases, perhaps ultimately that is what we need to do as well.