Why bother about your past? Can you just not leave it in the past and “move on”? Who wants to focus on the past anyhow – it is over, done with, can’t be changed?

Or can it?


Time is not something that happens to us – we live inside of it. Humans (all mammals) live in circles. We repeat ourselves all the time.

You can try to leave your past in the past. You can try to outrun your past, deny it, numb it, hide it, pretend it is not there, refuse to look at it… but it won’t leave you, because the past is present – all the time. As your future is.

If we are “in our time” – we can change the past – and the present – and the future. If we are “outside of our time” – we can’t change anything.

Your life story lives “in your time”. You create and re-create it constantly. That is your freedom – and your right to do that. When your truth, your life story feels the most congruent to you – then it is yours.

If I could draw a spiral – I would do that…

If you only live in your circle – and come back to the same places over and over again, without having changed your perspective (mindset, though patterns, ideas, lenses…) you won’t see something new, you will be an echo. But the circles in themselves moves slightly – upwards – and downwards. You do come back to the same places in your circle, but if you are a “grower”, you will still reach the same places on your circle – but on another level.

You can choose if time is to have you – our if you have time.

I live in the past, present and the future each day – I change each of them each day – they interact with each other – and I interact with them.

Sometimes we humans get this. We have (used to have) round clocks. The year is made like a circle with its months, once one year has passed, we start on a new year circle, with the same months. A week starts and ends over and over, do does a day, an hour, a minute, a second.

Even our planet is circular…

If you do not care about your past – you do not have a present and no future. Stuckness in either the past, present or future makes you not fully alive. It is the dynamic in between them that creates us, that we create from…

People how are stuck in the past are stuck there because they do NOT go there enough. Do NOT integrate it in their lives. Without a past – you have no future – the present is “only” the sum of your past – and is totally depending on from where you look at it is how you give it meaning that matters, to you, not what exactly happened. It is how you look at it that decides where you will end up in your next round on your circle, on the same level, or on another one?

I think time is extra complicated for humans. We are elaborate time-travelers. We are very focused on time. How to use it, what to spend it on – and on avoiding any painful thing that happened in the past – so much so we hardly remember our past. This is a collective mindset/frame. We are in general told to forget, forgive and move on. Instead of seeing everything our own time has filled up with, inside our circles, how we can use all that – to create or own meaning, but also create collective meaning.

Time is not linearMy past is me. It is the building blocks of me. If I want to understand and fully embrace me – then I also need to embrace my past. My past is part of my present, and my future.

I think also other non-human animals live circular lives with the past, present and the future present – all at once. But I don’t think they think so much about it. For them, it is natural.

For us humans – who straightened time out – cut the circle – opened it up and made it into a straight line…. This is so much harder…

We humans are very future oriented. We strive ahead. Are constantly on our way somewhere. There are goals – ahead. Looking back has become “bad”. Owning and telling our stories has become un-necessary.

We lose our own rhythms and chase the future. And some magic “now” that is supposed to heal us. But I think we can only be in our own personal now when we fully accept our past – and then the future does not have to be chased – it will come to you, in some shape and form. It is yours, depending on how you have integrated and accepted your past, whatever that looked like.

When you do this – time becomes irrelevant. At least to the extent that the difference between the past, the present and the future diminishes. Society is still built on measuring time in a forward linear way. We schedule things. Pay for time. Look forward to future events. Feel scared we are missing out. Feel we have too little, or too much time.

To live in a society like this makes it hard to keep track on the repetitions. It makes it harder for us to see the patterns of human activity. That is why so many people with a dark past feel so astonished when their dark past comes right back at them. If we think development is linear – if forward always is the right way, if the past is to be forgotten (and forgiven) – we do not learn from it, do not use it. All kinds of survivors of trauma are met by the repetitions in society. Humans can be very dangerous creatures when they, on a personal, or collective level, “forget” their past.

Our linearity ends up making us very obviously walk in circles – with no ways out from repeating the past without any learning done and digested. There will be no spirals, no opening up to new levels – and therefor our communal future looks very much like a past we already have seen, multiple times.

I do not like the overall focus in psychology of telling people (speaking about) their past is not relevant. It is like telling them their future, or their present is not relevant. In many cases – I think this happens because it is easier to deal with traumatized people if the do not talk so much. The listener does not need to open up to humanity, to see, grasp and understand the atrocities, humiliations, the violence and degradations we put people through. The listener can then easier stay in their safe and secure bubble. And be on the other side. For me – I know my way out of being stuck in my past is to open up to it, look at it, own it, hold it, work with it – and tell about it. I am also learning that not all people can listen to it, or even think this is helpful (for them or me). Then they do not need to hear or take part, of course. I do recognize that the more open I am with how I deal with my past, what is important to me – the more I trigger other people.

I have the utmost respect for that we all are on different places in our time circles, spirals – or lines…

I will figure out how to communicate what is important to me – and leave other people with the same choices as I treasure and want. It is – at times – a fine balance to find – to find the “meeting points” of where my freedom ends – and your starts. It is for sure a learning process and journey for me to find that balance. A spiral shaped journey 😊

Text and pictures are copyright protected © Katarina Lundgren, Live the Change 2020


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Thursday, 25 July 2024