Is It Good Or Bad To Hold On To The Past?

@Janey1966 (24126)
Carlisle, England
February 24, 2010 7:01pm CST
I have always believed that the past makes us what we are NOW although thinking about the past too much can be destructive. It can stop us from having meaningful relationships if we have had bad experiences in the past. It can stop us from making new friends if those we had in the past were a big let down. Is it right for me to blog my diaries, as an example? All my diaries (apart from my present one), obviously are in the past. They are a good way of remembering things like past sporting events (that I test my husband on as his memory is brilliant) and other landmarks in life. Why am I doing it though? Why can't I just leave my diaries alone and concentrate on the present? I know there is nothing sinister in my diaries but there was a relationship I had in the early 90s that wasn't a good one...although I don't think I even filled in each day because I didn't trust my partner. My distrust of him was so bad I think I even took my diary to WORK! Can you imagine? I suppose I am after answers as to what makes me tick. Even at 43 I don't really know! However, I reckon positive experiences in my life have certainly outweighed negative ones so I guess I shall carry on blogging!
3 people like this
23 responses
• Philippines
25 Feb 10
NOW, this very moment, is what matters. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is uncertain. Anyhow, if we really think about it, tomorrow never comes for when tomorrow comes, it becomes today. If we take care of now, we won't even have to worry about the future. If we do what is right today, we won't have any future regrets. What am I saying, no future regrets? We all make mistakes and there is no doubt about that. But, if we strive to do the best that we can, that's really the best that we can do, considering that we're only human. I am not suggesting that we forget the past. We are what we are because of how we shaped our lives in the past. We don't have to dwell on the past and make ourselves miserable over past mistakes. We can learn from those mistakes. But it's okay to give ourselves a treat, reminiscing priceless memories, isn't it? Going through my journal, makes me ponder about mistakes and promise myself to avoid those mis-steps. While, reading about the happy events make me thank the Lord for those blessings and make me sing with joy. Don't ever get rid of your diaries. They can be useful to you in constructive ways, teach you lessons and cheer you up. Keep on doing the good things that you do. Good begets good, you know. Stay happy and well, Janey.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
I'm nearly in tears reading your kind, thoughtful words that mean such a lot to me, thank you so much. You make a lot of sense in what you say and I am glad you have taken the trouble to write all that out for my benefit.
2 people like this
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
25 Feb 10
Very well deserved of the Br for sure.. A very good answer indeed..
• Philippines
26 Feb 10
Hi Janey and zed_k4, Thanks a lot for your heartwarmng comments. It means so much to me. And you, guys, keep up the good work of depositing priceless treasures in your memory bank for you to reminisce in the days and years to come. Have a joyful day.
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
25 Feb 10
Hello, Janey. As you say, our past contributes to our present and also our future, so it's always there. There's nothing wrong in remembering, and if blogging your diaries helps you to draw a line under the past and elps others who read of your experiences and how you dealt with them, I'd say your past is playing a constructive part in your present. It's obvious your past hasn't made you bitter and twisted, and the bad relationship hasn't prevented you from having a good one, so you've learned lessons from your past and brought it comfortably into your present - at least, that's the impression I get from what I know of you. Personally, I think it's far more harmful to try and ignore or bury the past, because at some point it's going to float to the surface and cause problems for everyone around - a bit like Joe McIntyre's body in Coronation Street!
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Haha! I like it! What a terrible character though, I'm glad he's been written out. Lucky Gayle eh? She does pick 'em!!
• Spain
25 Feb 10
I was taking about this to someone else, and I said her next husband should be paid danger money - she's had 4, and only I has lived to get the divorce. She must have made a fortune in widow's pensions and life insurance.
@dawnald (84152)
• Shingle Springs, California
25 Feb 10
I put stories from the present and the past into my blogs, mostly the funny ones, but not exclusively. One of these days the kids may show an interest in reading them. Actually I may print them all off and save them... Nothing wrong with remembering the past as long as you aren't living in it...
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Hiya Dawn. I like the idea of printing the stories off for the kids. I'd love to see their faces when they read them, especially the funny ones. I don't live in the past, what I do is I remember good stuff from the past. When John wasn't around, of course I used to focus on the more negative stuff as I didn't have a boyfriend for a long time...I don't do that anymore, there's no point.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84152)
• Shingle Springs, California
25 Feb 10
The bad stuff affects you, of course, so if there's something to be learned from it, why not? I'm sure the kids will love reading all that stuff later down the road...
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
24 Apr 10
@pandaeyes (2068)
25 Feb 10
We can dwell in the past too much. I try really hard to think forwards. Most of my childhood was hard work but it has made me very adaptable and realistic I think now I am an adult. We cant change our past but we certainly can affect our futures.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
That is so true my friend and I can tell you are making the most of your life by the way you write stuff down on this site. Positivity shines through and you are an inspiration my friend. Love the cute little avatar too!
1 person likes this
@pandaeyes (2068)
25 Feb 10
Thank you very much for saying so. I'm all gulpy and tearful LOL
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
@yresh12 (3217)
• Philippines
25 Feb 10
It's not bad to hold on in the past as long as you don't make it your own world and encircling it with your everyday life. Holding on to it is just a way of moving forward and learning from what you have experienced. It's not bad to keep those blogs miss Janey! go go go!
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot to me. I will keep my blog, but I will keep it private I think, from now on, for my own piece of mind more than anything else.
@yresh12 (3217)
• Philippines
28 Feb 10
No problem! Am always happy to inspire someone. I think you should make it private. It's for you only...
@DeenaD (2688)
• United States
26 Feb 10
I think you should do both. You should hold on to your happy memories and cherish them, but don't live in the past. This is actually harder than it sounds. Also, I think you should let go of your anger and forgive the people who might have wronged you long ago.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
26 Feb 10
Yes, you are right on both counts. I did feel anger (many years ago) for quite some time but I can honestly say that I don't feel anger anymore...just sadness that I wasted 2 years of my life on someone who was totally wrong for me, although that experience has shaped me into the BETTER person I am now. Well, I like to think so anyway!
• United States
25 Feb 10
Holding on to the past can be a good thing and a bad thing. You should always hold on to the good things and remember them... but you should also hold on to the bad because that is something you learned from life. If ou keep making the same mistakes... whats the point in trying again. Tinking of the bad can turn out to be a good thing. But you have to go by your own judgement on what is right to hold on to and what will only bring you down. "Life is a ballance of holding on, and letting go!"
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Aww you have only just joined MyLot! Welcome my friend and I hope you shall be with us for a long time. I like your response too, you make a lot of sense I must say. You are right, we do learn from the bad things that have happened in the past (or we should do anyway) as what is the point of going through life if we don't make such mistakes and rectify them for the future? That's what life is, isn't it? Learning as we go along. I'm pleased to say that I am on the right path as far as personal relationships are concerned and I reckon I am a better, stronger person after going through a bad relationship 20 years ago no less. That would stop me in my tracks for a long time but now I am married to someone who cares more about me than I probably care about myself and that is why I know I have learned from my past mistakes. The only way is up my friend! Never look down.
@jesssp (2742)
• Canada
25 Feb 10
I agree with you. The past was what it was and while it should certainly stay there that doesn't mean it should be forgotten. I think that recording your diaries is an excellent idea, even if just to preserve them. The paper copies won't last forever and having an electronic copy is a great idea, not just for you but for any relatives who may be interested in them in the future. I think as long as we don't pine for the past or try to bring it back then there's definitely no harm in revisiting it now and then. Like you said, it made us what we are today and it should definitely not be forgotten, denied or ignored.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Thanks very much for your response, it is much appreciated. It really is amazing how many diaries I have accumulated over the years. They are all kept in a rucksack of all things lol. None are missing though; something that is extremely important from a historical point of view. Quite a variety of diaries too. The first one is a 5 year diary, the next few page a day, there's an appointments diary with too many lines to write on as I couldn't find a small page a day, then there are at least 4 Dairy Diaries that are week to view with recipes every 2 pages, a Russell Grant (Astrology) Diary for 1986 which is the next year I shall be doing...and a Nostradamus diary (big book) with predictions, for 1990. A fair mixture there so I'm not gonna get bored blogging them, I'm sure of that. I may scan some of the interesting points with the astrology and Nostradamus predictions...I shall cross that bridge when I come to it lol.
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
25 Feb 10
Hiya Janey.. I'd say hold on to your diaries and never let go of blogging. It's awesome to keep old diaries because those entries recorded stuffs which we might have jot down and they shape us into what we are today. Although I don't have any diaries..but I have another blog on lock.. and sometimes I come to read and reflect on the past. For a bit.. sometimes to move on and keep on pushing forward is boring, and we need to stick around to learn from mistakes and hoping that the future will always be bright. Awesome topic here..
@choybel (5057)
• Philippines
25 Feb 10
I think that it would be better if we just learn from the lessons of the past rather than holding on to it. keeping good memories is not a crime, it may infact serve as historical and memorable events of your entire life. There is always a lesson to learn from any experience, be it good or bad and I guess how we apply it is what really counts.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Thank you so much for your response and yes, you are right, we have to be selective, don't we, when we remember the past. Luckily, I remember the good bits rather than the not so good and hang on to those. I look forward more than I used to as well, which is also a positive development as far as I am concerned.
• Philippines
25 Feb 10
In a way, it is bad to keep on holding to the past because you can't move on. It would alsways remind you of the pain you've suffered and you don't trust people.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
I don't hold onto the past as such but I know there is a danger of doing so whilst blogging my dairies, so I get where you are coming from. I am a tough cookie and I reckon I can handle it my friend. Many thanks for your response.
25 Feb 10
I was always told never to live in the past but learning from the past. I try not to hold onto the past too much these days, it can only hold me back and make me depressed, especially when I get all introspective and wonder "what if". I have never kept a diary but I have my memories both good and bad, and that's enough for me to hold onto.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
That is a very good point you make about "learning from the past." I think I've learned from the past, I like to think so anyway. We learn as we go along don't we? I just need to be more tolerant with the in-laws then that's me...I'll be perfect lol!
@machivado (529)
• Indonesia
25 Feb 10
I believe the past holds the key to the future however what really matters is at present, not the future, and not even the past. But we all love sweet old memories, don't we?
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Yes, we do love sweet old memories, you are right and I am looking forward to remembering some more, if you get what I mean. Thank you for your kind words.
@vandana7 (70736)
• India
25 Feb 10
Hi Janey, I think writing diary is a good habit. It is a record of good as well as bad in our lives. By revisiting the contents we realize that the "postive experiences" are certainly more, and we can dwell more on them, instead of focusing only on bad. Generally, it is bad from the past that remains in our mind. We completely forget that we had good moments, and the ratio of such good moments was considerably higher.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
That is very true. I have had bad moments in my life but the good ones definitely are in the majority so it's that I hold on to and focus on. Thank you for reminding me about that.
@natjohn20 (201)
• Philippines
25 Feb 10
I agree with you Janey1966 its not good to think about your past all the time it might hinder your activities and goals in your future because of not able to move on from the past experiences, but that is not always the case, you can learn so many things from your past experiences good or bad you can figure out your mistakes, failures and weaknesses and make them your strengths for your future. Like me I have worst experiences during my past years that I'm so ashamed of, what I did I try to find out my weaknesses and change those weaknesses into strength that I'm still carrying today. Its OK for you not to let go of your past, I know everybody's past are there treasures in life good or bad it always give us happiness later in life, so don't leave your diary your diary represents you and what you are now today a happy woman living her life. ^ ^
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Awww such sweet words you have written there my friend. Thanks so much. I can tell that you are learning from your past too aren't you? Same as me! I am slowly but surely beginning to realise that, you know, my life isn't that bad. It's what you make it. I can only carry on trying for jobs; it's not my fault I'm not being selected, it's theirs! Thinking negatively will hold me back won't it?
@lingli_78 (12841)
• Australia
25 Feb 10
the past is good as a reminder for us to learn our lessons and not making the same mistakes again... but it shouldn't tie and obstruct us from moving forward in our lives... we should never let our past to haunt us and ruin our lives... we have to move forward... for me, what is more important is the present and the future... take care and have a nice day...
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Yes, I have learned from instances that have happened to me in the past. For a start, the man I fell in love with and married is completely different from a mentally abusive man I lived with 20 years ago...so yes, I have moved on I'm pleased to say. It took me a while but I got there in the end.
• India
25 Feb 10
Well, you carry on blogging if it helps you in any way…however, personally I don’t like dwelling on the past. I look at it this way…most of my past looks futile now, I’ve achieved hardly anything as per my potential and when I see others in similar situations as so smart and knowledgeable and putting their time to better use for their careers, I feel I’ve let myself down completely…and once that feeling settles in, I can hardly get anything done in the present…I become depressed and that is something I just cant afford to become. Secondly, there were golden phases too in my past and remembering them yet again, makes me depressed…like missing those good old days, missing those wonderful times which I know will never come back…so all in all the past makes me depressed so I keep it at a safe distance from me. What I do however, is remember the mistakes I had made and constantly try and reinvent myself accordingly. Each moment is like a new learning experience though I must say that we never completely learn as long as we live
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Well that's very true. None on us will ever be perfect in our lifetimes will we? I will carry on with the blog but I think I've now decided to make it private, not because there is anything mega personal in there, I just want it to be mine, rather like the diaries themselves.
• United States
25 Feb 10
Hi Janey. I was in a horrible relationship (marriage) for thirteen years, and I find writing about it helps me sort out just what it was that got me, and kept me, in that mess to begin with, and helps me to insure I'll never let it happen again. I think without a good understanding of the past, it is difficult not to repeat the same mistakes in the future. And as for the good things, why not blog about them? It helps to relive tender moments and wonderful times in your life. I say carry on blogging if it makes you happy! I don't have the consistancy needed for a blog. I start one, and then forget about it. I do write though, and I write about many things. My past...my present...my hopes and dreams for the future...my fears and doubts. Writing or blogging about them isn't the same as obsessing about them, and I think as long as you are able to maintain balance and healthy relationships in the present, there's nothing wrong with revisiting the past.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Thank you so much for your response, it is much appreciated my friend. It can actually be quite entertaining blogging my diaries, although tiring at times because I write small so I can fit a fair amount onto one page! Pity I didn't write in capitals or something lol.
@EARLZHAN (934)
• Philippines
25 Feb 10
Hi there friend.. Actually we can really say if it's good or bad if we base our answer on its effect on us. What had happen in past? Does it motivates you to be strong or doest it makes you feel bad upto the present? If the past motivates you to be strong then it is good to hold on the past and make it as an inspiration. If the past makes you sad then forget the past and start a new life. We can't change the past but we can have a good future if we fight a good fight for our future.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Well, generally speaking the past has been OK, not brilliant but OK, although nothing really terrible has ever happened to me so, from that viewpoint I'm not scared about delving into my past diaries. I will try not to dwell in it too much though. Like you said, the future is what matters.
@portisray (503)
• Philippines
25 Feb 10
Hello Janey! Well, it depends on how are you holding on to your past... You have a diary that is not that bad and you even posted it in the web where everyone can read it! You've got the courage, patience and dedication that I wish I could do that! Don't hold on to the past because you can't move on today or the future...
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
25 Feb 10
Well, that's true enough! I can't have skeletons in the cupboard if I'm allowing everyone online to read it if they so wish. Perhaps I should set it to Private, something to think about for the future anyway. No, I won't hold on to the past, it is destructive and can do more harm than good. Welcome to MyLot by the way.