Reflecting on the Past Creates a Better Future

When people come to me they often state, “I don’t want to dwell on the past.” Observing your past through the lens of an outsider gives you an alternate viewpoint on your experience. When you think about an event, the mental scenes might be colored by your charged emotions and judgments.

Seeing the event from another perspective, however, allows you to view it as if it were a play. You will realize that everyone had a part and they were simply operating on their script. You will, also, see that you were doing the same. Thus, you will understand more deeply your own responsibility in the matter. By reflecting on your past objectively, you will learn to recognize your own patterns and how they affect your current actions.

Reflecting on your role in the dynamics you have experienced allows you the opportunity to accept more responsibility for your past and current actions. Even though the things that transpired in the past might not be your sole responsibility, it is important to think about the effect of your reactions to the past.

Now is the best time to contemplate the ways you responded in the past and whether or not your actions were healthy. To reflect, you need to think back to an incident that impacted you. Look at this event as if you were an impartial observer. Through these realizations you gain from a new perspective. You may see that the things that transpired were either not as important as you thought or were the result of a combination of factors. This mind-set will help you gain greater empathy for everyone involved, including yourself.

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