We all have a past and we all dream about a future. But its the Present through which one dwells in the Past and dreams about Future! Past and Future do not exist in reality, rather they are memory & imagination based. Its only the ‘Present’ that exists in real time and space. What ever we experience in the Present soon becomes a part of one’s Past (in brain’s memory) If whatever we are experiencing in the Present is because of our conscious choice and is pleasant then that results in creating a positive memory, which adds to our Past. If whatever we are experiencing in the Present is forced by someone or destiny and is aversive & distressful, then it results in creating a negative memory, which accordingly adds to our Past. As adults & mature individuals we do have control on most of our choices & surroundings (atleast thats how it should be) but if on multiple occasions, as children/teenagers if unfortunately we could not avoid experiencing negative situations and if we had felt victimized, then that may have resulted into developing a ‘Dark Past’ which may still haunt us as adults. Even as adults we may ruminate on our old/recent sad past consciously or sub-consciously, especially of how things didn’t go our way in a business deal, relationship, loss of a loved one, academic or workplace failure etc.
Can we change one’s Past? Well, what has happened so far and what is stored in one’s Past till date cannot be practically erased. But the Past that will be created from this moment onward can definately be engineered the way we want it, atleast that will be based on all that we have conscious control upon. How? Its simple. Firstly, be conscious of the fact if whatever you have decided to choose to experience in the Present moment of yours, is out of your choice, is pleasant and is of constructive value. If yes, then experience that Present moment in the best possible manner, because soon it will be becoming your Past. Similarly if you utilize your Present moment in meaningful, positive energy based bonding (meeting like minded people, sharing knowledge, partying with good friends) & activities (pursuing music, reading a good book, seeing a good movie, helping underprivileged people, etc) what will result is a generation of a ‘good memory’, which will be transferred from your brain’s ‘Present’ to ‘Past’ folder! Therefore consistently if one takes effort to create positive experiences in the Present, what will eventually result is the building up of a ‘Bright Past’. Thus, chances are that the freshly developed ‘Bright Past’ will gradually consume/or fade off the ‘Dark Past’, ofcourse if one decides to sincerely & intelligently make the best of one’s Present moments. As adults, its up to us to either ‘click’ life’s best colors from around by living in the Present moment or decide to depressingly sit on a rocking chair and plug into the ‘black & white’ and mostly ‘grey’ Past memories. At the most (as adults) we can learn from the ‘Dark Past’ & move on with life, thus not creating the same mistakes of one’s Past in one’s Present & Future.
An analogy perhaps can explain the concept clearly. When we click photographs, we set our focus on our subject that we want to capture. We choose the best angle and make sure that we get a good photograph which we save for posterity purpose.
Later, in moments of solitude, when we swipe through the saved photographs, we tend to smile or giggle by bringing back the ‘Past’ memory of the clicked photograph. Similarly make the best of ‘Today’ for creating good memories for your upcoming Past, so that when in Future you ‘swipe’ through your Past memories, you have enough reason to smile and giggle. Clicking ‘Colorful photographs of Life’ in the Present moment or helplessly ruminating on the Dark Past is a matter of personal choice.
Best wishes to ‘click’ the colors of Life!
Shraddha C. Sankulkar
Mind Matterz ( A Psychological Guidance Unit)
School of Emotional Intelligence