Joel sometimes says that enlightenment is retroactive.
One of the many ways of noticing that is through inquiry. Especially when it is done in a wholehearted and heartfelt way.
I take a story as true, and it colors my past. It may even bring up sadness, grief, anger, regret and so on.
I inquire into the story, finding what is more true for me, and the story is liberated from being taken as true.
And here, I find that my images of the past has changed as well. Instead of – for instance – regret over a particular situation, there is now a gentle and heartfelt appreciation.
Often, it is bitter-sweet. I can see how I acted in beliefs back then, creating suffering for myself and others. It is bitter. And yet, in realizing that I was confused and acted on a belief, and now have a little more clarity around it, there is a sweetness, a sincere appreciation of the whole process.