Life has a funny way of “reminding” us of things we have done in our past. Every minute of every day we should be mindful of what we do and say. Our actions, comments, gestures, etc. all become part of our past experiences and the experiences of those we encounter.
It seems like it should be so easy to avoid creating “past hurts.” Just don’t create them, right? I’m learning why it’s not that easy. I have firsthand knowledge of how these hurts resurface late in a person’s live. I am speaking specifically from recent experience. At this very moment I am witnessing past hurts making themselves very current and real. It’s a strange phenomenon to watch. The particular past hurts I’m talking about are hurts that cut deep. They are ugly. They are mean. They are scary. They are cruel. They are sad. Past hurts are part of what mold us as people. They are unfortunately a huge factor in making us who we are. No matter how much we try to deny, hide from, bury or ignore them, past hurts are there. Usually in a big way.
The process of creating “past hurts” is a complex and when they’re created it’s sometimes unintentional. Sort of a learned behavior. It is far too complicated to explain in my blog and I’m certainly not qualified. But I want to give my opinion for what it’s worth.
We will do whatever it takes to experience these important emotions. We will especially do whatever it takes to please the ones who are supposed to love us, keep us safe and accept us the most in our lives. These people are our parents and families.
Simply put, people learn early in life just what they have to do to feel loved, safe and accepted. Good or bad, these “tapes” are recorded in our brains at about six years old, from what I’ve heard. Again, I’m not an expert but I trust the source of this information. WOW!! At six our core personalities are pretty much set. No wonder at 47 I’m still figuring out how to erase and re-record!
I know it’s not possible to recreate our past or erase past experiences. I also know it is possible to make peace with past hurts and fill yourself up with better stuff!!! I truly do KNOW this. Depending on how you look at it you can have fun doing it or you can make it seem more like work! I’m doing it and I’m having fun. Yes, I have some bad days. I do still have little pity parties for the little girl in me who didn’t have a daddy who carried her on his shoulders or tucked her in at night and called her Princess. (Sorry, I digress…)
My point is, I have choices to make every day. I can carry on the negative thoughts and feelings or I can have fun creating wonderful future “past” experiences for myself and those I encounter. Baking cookies with my niece, telling stories to my grandson,
thanking a soldier, reminding my kids how much I love and appreciate them… These are all things I “choose” to do. And they make me and someone else happy. Hey, a positive “past” experience had by all. It’s actually pretty easy.
Here are a few things I’ve been thinking of as I write;
If you want your children to grow up to be nice people, be nice to them and be nice to others, your kids are watching.
If you want to be respected, treat others with respect.
If you want to be appreciated, show appreciation for the things you have and the people who do nice things for you.
If you want to smile, make someone else smile.
If you want to feel good, make others feel good.
If you want your children to be confident, never stop telling them how proud they make you.
If you want to be understood, try to understand how someone else feels before you think about your own feelings.
If you want to have close friends, offer your support to a friend in need.
If you want your children to be kind, show them how.
If rude people bother you, don’t be rude yourself.
Remember. Be mindful of what you do and say every minute of every day. After all. You’re creating “past” experiences.
I am going to end with something I read recently in an article about setting priorities. A man was talking about a slap in the face he got when he heard his 5-year-old son talking to a little friend. His little boy said, “I don’t think my Daddy likes being around me. Every time I ask him to play with me when he comes home from work he says he’s too tired.” This man broke down and cried! Now he plays with his son in the morning before work and in the evening after dinner, every single day!! And a lot more on weekends. Bad “past hurts” transformed into “great memories” and far more for a lucky little boy and his Dad!