Every once in a while, it is important to take a step back, look at the life you have created for yourself, and your current reality, and count your blessings. They say, “never look back,” but sometimes looking back is alright, in moderation, of course!
Do not spend too much time lingering on the past, but sometimes it can truly be rewarding and exciting to take a look at how far you have come, even in the last few days. Every day, we should be growing, learning, and experiencing, and as a result, growing and learning from our experiences. Or, at least that is what I think.
Looking back can in a sense put a positive, motivating perspective and incentive in front of you, as you take a look back at how much the small steps to making changes are making a difference. You have incentives to continue growing when you look back, as we all want to keep growing and adapting to becoming the best versions of ourselves.
Looking back not only allows us to build incentives to continue growing, but it also provides us a sense of awareness. As you look back on things you may consider errors, or things you may have been successful at, or maybe things you want to change about yourself, you build a sense of awareness for not only yourself, but an awareness of others and your daily environments. Looking back on things can truly allow you to unlock your brain, allowing you to access your deepest thoughts. Two of the biggest things that scare individuals of all ages and genders is the past and the future. While looking back can be seen as not being mindful, I think that it is healthy to reminisce or not reminisce about things that have occurred in the past.
Once again, looking back for too long will not only strain your neck, but it can be damaging towards your personal well-being. You do not want to stay hung up on the same issues for years – you want to be able to move on and leave some baggage behind. I believe in a healthy moderation that looking back can allow you to truly access some repressed memories and feelings, and in return, allow you to move forward. Sometimes, in order to move forward, you must go backwards.
If you do not spend time addressing things that you are simply putting off, the burden of holding your emotions in and addressing the issue will build up inside of you. In turn, you will face some long-term consequences from this behavior. As much as we wish to simply silence our worries and fears for the future and the past, I have learned that this is simply impossible. This can mean taking two steps back when you were making progress, to even just simply speaking about the past. As humans, we will all face hardships in our pasts that we barely speak of and experience failures; these are inevitable parts of life. Allowing myself to personally access memories of the past that I have been repressing for years, was one of the most healthiest things I could ever do. Some people do not like talking about their past or their hardships, and I am one of those people. I spent many years repressing this information and my emotions, which in turn led to many self-destructive behaviors and a lack of stability within my life, as I had picked up negative coping mechanism skills. However, by falling back and looking back, I was able to move forward, continue growing, and continue challenging myself every day. Looking back at it can be challenging, but sometimes it is the only way to move forward.
Do not let your past haunt you, but be willing to speak about it to your nearest source of trust and learn to handle your past with care, and with a positive, motivating outlook. Taking a step back every once in a while to recognize your past and how much you have grown is an amazing feeling. Sometimes, the past may be filled with harsh, crude memories, but do not let it cloud your mind. Unlocking your past is one of the most proactive ways of moving forward, because as I said before, you need to look back, in order to move forward. Ignoring your past, which may or may not have included hardships, will lead to a life full of a lack of self-awareness, a lack of motivation, and will lead to behaviors that may become detrimental to your life. Do not dwell too long on your past, but spend time acknowledging it for however long feels necessary. This is important in the game of growth and personal happiness. Looking back serves more purpose than one.
I just took a full month to simply look back at how far I have come in the last few days, even the last six months, and the growth is exponential. I truly think the most rewarding part about thinking about the past is looking at my own personal growth, and not ignoring the things that I need to work on in different aspects of my life. I may need to work on a lot of things, as we are all human, however, I have more of a sense of the importance of getting in touch with my past. We all need something to compare ourselves to something, and while comparing ourselves to others is not a viable option, our past-version of ourselves is a great viable option.
Though you may not acknowledge it, even in the last 24-hours you have changed a little bit, just due to the fact that you have gained more experience just by living. The growth may not be exponential or noticeable, but humans are constantly changing, adapting and growing just simply by living out their daily routines. Sometimes, we like to compare our current version of ourselves to a version of ourselves from years ago, or even days ago. This is a good game you can play with yourself. Thoroughly examining your past during various points in your life, and asking yourself questions about what you used to be like, who your friends were, what your hobbies were, etc. allows you to gain a certain understanding about the kind of person you are, the kind of company you keep, what is important to you, what your skills are, etc. It truly allows you some time to think about your priorities, as well, among other positive things. In addition, it allows you to gauge what aspects of your life you have grown in, as well as, to acknowledge areas where improvement is needed or has not been made. Please, do not even bother trying to compare yourself with others. If you maybe see traits in others that you may respect or would like to work on, than that is different. When comparing yourself to a past version of yourself, a great tip is to think of the most ideal, or a loosely perfect, version of yourself. What do you see? Do you see a positive, outgoing person? A more secluded, happier version of yourself? Do you see a person constantly surrounded by people? What are traits you would like to exude and work on? These are all questions you can ask yourself. The more you examine yourself and continue to experience, the more answers you will get for yourself
Being self-aware allows for less surprises in the long-run, as certain behaviors or tendencies that may be negative or positive will soon become acknowledged, and hopefully allow for some room to change. This self-awareness extends onto others, as you become more self-aware about the way you make others feel. If you are constantly negative, acknowledging and changing that habit will not only make you feel better, but it will also make others feel better. I believe that being self-aware allows you to become the most comfortable, most confident version of yourself. This comfortability and confidence will exude onto others. Note that the sooner you are happier with yourself, the sooner you can begin making others exceedingly joyous.
Gauging your past should be done with a trusted source, and also a person who can emotionally, physically, and mentally be present, who also is able to help. Some situations in our past are bigger than you, your friends, and even your parents. That is okay, though. There are resources out there that allow you to seek professional help, if that is what is needed. Also, seeing a therapist is something I would recommend to anyone, because who does not love blowing off some steam? I certainly do.
The real question now is why not look back @ it?