The Civil War Within

I’ve been thinking about parenting and the past.

I’ve been told that it is futile to live in the past and that we must move on.  Straight after this grand pronouncement and utter denial of the power of history to shape us and make us what we are we then returned to the past that had been moved on from.  Repeatedly.  At length.  Without end.

I like the idea of leaving the past behind and forging ahead bravely undaunted and resolute.  It’s a nice idea, a comforting aspiration of a totally clean slate and a brave new beginning.

And to me, a nice idea is all that is.  The past both good and bad has shaped me and will continue to shape me for the rest of my life.

If you truly ignore the past then there is no growth as there is no learning from experience, no basis of shared memories of joy and sorrow.

If you believe that your version of the past is the only version and that no other perspective or experience of that past is possible and that the past is fixed, preserved in amber for eternity then there is no room for compromise or empathy.

amber-bottle-1418125-640x480

That past is a daily death by a thousand cuts dabbed with lemon juice and wiped away with barbed wire.  There is no right of reply, no redemption and no room for error, human or otherwise.

The past has shaped me but it will not break me.  It will not be revisited upon my children or those I love.

I will not let my past become their future.

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26 Comments Add yours

  1. Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

    What a powerful & thought provoking post. I agree, we can’t just forget the past. There is no clean slate. The past has shaped everything about us today. #MG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      The original draft was far stronger. This is the toned down version!

      Like

  2. Mrs Tubbs says:

    Another thought provoking post. I think it depends on whether we learn from the past or continue to make the same mistakes over and over …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      If we ignore our past then we can’t learn from it or change our attitudes to it. That’s what is so frustrating.

      The veneer of forgiveness is wafer thin and condemns those that make mistakes to endless and ultimately futile repentence.

      Like

  3. Jennifer says:

    Such a powerful post, thanks for sharing. #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a really powerful post. Thank you. We all have a past and on occasion demons do come to haunt us (or the come to haunt me at least), but you are right, we have a choice about how we deal with the past. The past will shape us, that is inevitable, but it can only break us and rule us if we let it. thank you. Pen xx #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes the past can be hard to look back on and it would be the easier way out to just try to forget. But it really does make us stronger. As long as you learn from your mistakes and misfortunes, the past helps you get ahead in the future!
    #abitofeverything
    Tori
    http://www.themamanurse.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting, thoughtful post #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another powerful post which is taut with emotion and leaves us pondering. Brilliantly written as always

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whoops meant to put #bestandworst

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is really powerful. I love posts that make me think a bit more deeply. I’m a firm believer in your past shaping you and making your stronger but sometimes it does need to stay there. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bread says:

    I love the way you describe the past. Perfect way to put it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think for some people, they do need to bury and forget some parts of their past in order to move on. That’s how they cope best. I do believe that the past shapes you and will always have an influence on your future but we should not let the past define who we are. Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      I understand the need to bury it but to deny it is infuriating.

      I just can’t tolerate it when being asked, gently, to consider the impact of their past actions it is all just casually dismissed as ‘the past’ as though the wreckage of broken relationships and legacy of misery is nothing because ‘it’s in the past now’.

      Like

  12. susankmann says:

    What a great post and very thought provoking. I have had some cbt treatment for things that happened in my past that I didn’t know about and came to light after I had children. I even had to get a memory changed through hypnotherapy. It is funny how the brain works and tries to protect you Thanks for linking #abitofeverything xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the point that your version of the past is not the only one! And also that you can’t ignore or erase the past but you needn’t let it control your future #fabfridaypost

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      I wrote on a similar theme in ‘jab another pin’. You have your version and then you speak to someone much later who was there at the time and they have a very different recollection or perspective on the events that changes everything. It’s scary how memories shape us and our attitudes and yet they are so fragile and malleable all at the same time.

      Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. mackenzieglanville says:

    Without a past we would be so empty, life would almost be wasted. The lessons I have learned have shaped me and drawn me a path to right now. There are some lessons I have learned that no one should learn, but I wouldn’t change a thing if it meant I wasn’t living the life I am living today.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A great post which leads people to think about their own past and how it has shaped them today. I agree we need to past in order to move on and into the future. There are some things that went on in my past that I would not wish upon my children but they have made me who I am, and I accept that and move on. It will also stop me making the same mistakes. Thank you for linking with us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week x

    Liked by 1 person

  16. bumbismom says:

    Powerful words. Very well said. Thanks for sharing this! #FabFridayPost

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This line – The past has shaped me but it will not break me.

    Our past is, quite rightly, in our past. But our past is part of what makes us us so by people saying to leave the past would mean leaving part of us and our shaping behind.

    Such a thought provoking post xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thanks for commenting and hosting. It’s a hard post to write and read so I’m grateful for all that do and I’m glad to see it has resonated with so many people.

      Like

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