Learning from the Past, and letting it go

Last week I set the scene about this series looking at whether you live in the past, the present or the future. As I mentioned before there is a value to each of these positions however balance is the name of the game.sunset 1

This week the focus is on the past. Do you live in the past harking back to old experiences? And if you do, are the majority positive or negative?

When I first joined my husband, Joe’s family I found one of the family dynamics puzzling. Regularly the family would start telling stories from the past. It was often the same stories and most were either sweet or funny.

My family dynamic really didn’t work that way. Talking about the past was just not part of the family pattern except for one thing. My dad had a tendency to talk a lot about the war (as in WWII).

The way my in-laws spoke about the past seemed to be positive and left everyone in a good mood. Their focus was on nostalgia and family bonding.

I reflected a little on how I don’t do that and wondered what do I do with the past? Well a lot of it I forget, my family seems to be excellent at amnesia! I often have conversations with people about events from my own past that I just don’t remember. This can be neutral or even positive events.

How did that happen?

I realise that as with so many things in life early programming is a big part of my experience. My mother has an automatic response to any bad experience that she still uses today:

“Put it all behind you and move on”

This is a great instruction for amnesia! There is a hidden message in the way my mother says it that is “forget about it”. This has some value for survival and yet can create limitation.

There were some things I did remember. Particularly before I did any kind of therapy the only things I could remember from my past were negative things. Even though they were quite dissociated they were still colouring my view of the world. Next week I will talk about what to do with such negative memories that may be getting in the way of a happy life.

So my original set up was either forget about it or re-live the negative. Not very healthy. We will talk in a couple of weeks about how to create positive recall of your past. Next week will be about handling negative recall.

To close for today let me tell yofog on the forestu that with my in-laws I now join in. It is great fun. I can now tell stories about events I wasn’t even present for! Weirdly I have also created internal images of those stories! I have also added to the store of stories over the last 20 years and been present for many joint ones.

Nostalgia can be a great bonder provided we remember to check elsewhere too!

About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
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2 Responses to Learning from the Past, and letting it go

  1. This looks interesting Melody. I have been looking at paradigms and am learning to deal with them everyday. What I do find difficult is that when I see my Mother everyday she is still the negative person I grew up with, so I have to make a Concious effort to not only change my own paradigms, but to change what she says from negative to positive. She won’t change now in her 93rd year, so I have to do all the work! I will look forward to hearing what else you will say.

  2. Thanks for the comment. You are voicing a common experience, dealing with the constant re stimulating of patterns can be very challenging. The trick is to set up a new filter for yourself so that the words float by without sticking. Some techniques in NLP can help with that. I also identified a key pattern in my communication with my Dad using TA and when I changed my response he stopped doing his thing. It revolutionised our relationship.

    Having said that, at 93 there could still be some challenges :0)

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