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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Dealing with the Past

"A man cannot free himself from the past more easily than he can from his own body."
- André Maurois [Source: http://www.quotegarden.com/past.html]

If you find yourself struggling with negative thoughts about your past then the above quote gives a clue to what I would suggest is the first aspect of a helpful approach to it: namely, if you can, try to accept your past. It has happened. Whether you like it or not, you cannot change the past, so striving to do so won't help. Acceptance and acknowledgment that it has happened is in my view a better first step.

A clue to a useful second step comes in a quote I found on the same website where I found the first quote:

"The one charm of the past is that it is the past."
- Oscar Wilde, from The Picture of Dorian Gray [Source: http://www.quotegarden.com/past.html]

In other words, you are no longer in that past situation and most likely you have changed and developed since then. So if you are having negative thoughts about the past, in addition to trying to accept that it happened, remind yourself that it was in the past. You are or can be different now and your situation is or can be different now too.

If you have negative thoughts about the past, I wish you a better present and future.

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