Hope for the past

Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept

– from Thanks, Robert Frost by David Ray, 2006

How we see the past always changes.

The way we understand our collective history changes. We see it in the context of how we understand the present. We see it in the context of what happened since. We have different values. We include new perspectives. We may have new information.

And so also with our personal history. We forget and remember different things. We see it in the context of how we understand our present, and we see it in the context of what happened since. We may have a different understanding of why we did what we did. We may understand our parents and childhood differently. And so on.

The way we relate to what’s here now is how we relate to our past. After all, the only place we can find our past is in our current mental representations of our past.

Without any intentional healing practice, how we relate to live and our past may go three ways. We may fuel painful stories and go into issues and hangups. We may find more peace with our life and our past. Or it stays more or less the same.

And with an intentional healing practice, we are much more likely to find peace with our life and our past. As we find healing for our relationship with ourselves, others, and life in general, we find healing for our relationship with our past. We see it with more understanding. We tell ourselves more kind and honest stories about our past.

What about hope? Do we need to rely on hope? Not if we have an intentional healing practice. Then we can find what we hope for here and now.

And how does finding our nature change this? It helps us recognize that the past, to us, only happens here and now in our mental representations of it. We can notice that they are part of the creativity of the mind, and our nature is their nature. They are a flavor of the divine, and we can rest in this noticing. We can – as before – heal our relationship with these mental representations. And we can examine them and find what’s more honestly true for us, which tends to be far more kind than our initial painful stories.


INITIAL NOTES

  • hope for the past
    • the past always changes
      • collectively, the way we understand history changes
        • what we focus on, our values,
      • so also personally
        • our personal history changes
        • what we remember, focus on, how we understand it, our context etc.
        • as we heal our issues, examine beliefs/identifications etc., find more peace with our past, see it differently, with more understanding and kindness,

…..

Highlight different things. See it from new perspectives. Have different values.

….

INITIAL DRAFT

How we see the past always changes.

Collectively, our history always changes. We understand it differently. We see it in a different context, including our present and what happened since. We highlight different things. Take new perspectives into account. And so on. This is natural and healthy.

And personally, our history also always changes and for many of the same reasons. We remember and forget different things. And here too, we understand it in the context of our present and what happened since. We see it from new perspectives.

Without any intentional practice of healing, how we relate to ourselves and our past may go either way. We may descend into bitterness and issues and create more painful stories about our past. Or we may find more peace with our past.

With an intentional healing practice, we are more likely to find peace with our past. As we find healing for our own issues – as we befriend more parts of ourselves and examine our painful stories and identities – we may relate to our past with more understanding and kindness. We find more kind, clear, and honest stories about our past.

This is not denial. It’s a peace that comes from seeing it more clearly.

The way we relate to what’s here now – ourselves, our experiences, others, the world – is also how we relate to our past. What’s here is, in a sense, created by the past. And we can only find the past in our stories, in our mental representations.

Finding our nature shifts this as well.

…..

The way we relate to our life now will inevitably influence how we relate to our past. After all, the only place we find our past is here and now. In a conventional sense, our present is created by our past. And in a more immediate sense, we can only find the past in our mental representations here and now.

Without any intentional practice, how we relate to our life can go either way. We can descend into emotional issues and painful stories about our life now and our past. Or we can find healing and more peace with it all.

….

And how does finding our nature change this? It helps us recognize that the past, to us, only happens here and now in our mental representations of it. We can heal our relationship with these mental representations. We can notice that they are part of the creativity of the mind, and our nature is their nature. They are a flavor of the divine. And we can – as before – examine them and find what’s more honestly true for us, which tends to be far more kind than our initial painful stories.

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