Build Stress Resilience by Exploring your Past

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
-Marcus Garvey

If there are no roots then there is no growth, and we as a people, are meant to grow. There are so many quotes out there about forgetting the past or how we should let go of the past or how it has nothing to do with us. I cringe whenever I read those quotes or hear someone speak so carelessly of our past. I understand the sentiment behind it but it seems that sometimes the essence of the message gets lost or jumbled. Knowing who you are and where you come from, goes to along way to help you in building stress resilience.

The past has contributed and molded us into the beings we are today. If you wish to understand your current situation, you have to look to the past to understand what actions, choices, and emotions led you here. More importantly, you have to have an understanding of how and why the landscape of your lifes is presently the way it is. The only way to do that is to look honestly into your past.

There is a difference between appreciating our past, learning from it and living or dwelling in it. We cannot take a trip down memory lane in order to solely victimize ourselves again and do nothing about it or learn anything from it. We cannot live in the past and use it as a crutch. The point is to review it, understand it, understand our role in recovering from it. Maybe, you realized that you have not recovered, or grown or learned anything from your past experiences. Maybe you realize that you have been stuck there. When you get to that point the questions that you have to ask yourself are:
What am I going to do about it?
Why am I stuck?
What was my role or lack thereof?
What can I learn from it?
Am I different?
How will I be better?

At the end of the introspection into our past selves, we have to land at a place of gratitude. We have to be ready to spring into our lives, taking full responsibility for not only our past selves but for our future selves as well. And we can only do that while being fully present in the now. We can only do that if we have honestly and earnestly dealt with our past selves.

There is a spiritual component in this exercise because it causes us to look at the interconnection of our lives. We are all connected through energy with nature, each other, and all existence. Looking into our past and trying to understand it helps us understand that if you are open to it. Previous experience with people and places and smells and textures and our ancestors all contribute to our growth. Do not be afraid to ask yourself the tough questions. Do not be afraid to accept the good and the bad parts of our lives. Use them as a point of healing.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
-Melody Beattie

I cannot accept that people do not want to be in a place of peace and prosperity in their lives. We all want joy and to experience that with people we love. Looking into ourselves, especially if we are stuck or things do not seem to be going right or everything we try to do ends in disaster, is the start of taking the path towards healing. This step starts with learning about your past and eventually accepting it and leaving it there, in the place it was meant to be, as a reference point in what is to come. 

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