Are we really chained to our past?

There is a me that used to exist.  I can access her thoughts and feelings.  I can remember things she said and did.  What I can’t do is feel her influence in my choices any longer.  I’ve been mulling this post since June 2012, when over dinner with a friend, I proclaimed that I was not affected by the things that happened to me in my past.  What I meant? I have experienced some things that perhaps others would use to define themselves throughout their lifetime, but that I no longer think about, or consider relative to my present day identity.

The years I spent claiming her as my identity were many.  Viewing each new thing that happened to me through the lens of her experience was common. However, with the passing  years I used her lens less. 

Today I can explain to you why I saw things the way I did.  I can show you how my past self influenced many of my choices for good and for bad, but what I can’t do is say any of my current life decisions manifest from those actual events. They may manifest from values formed or personality traits honed in the years following said experiences, but not from the actual experiences in anyway.

 I understand when people say we are shaped by our past. The experiences of my 15 year-old self and the struggles for me to find meaning in what I went through and how I moved on and learned from them have changed me, but I am who I am in this present existence.  My body is made from completely new cells than the cells that made her body.  She only exists in the synaptic connections forged in my brain. 

I am no longer that person, nor do I wish to be. I can look at her objectively.  I can see her fears. I can feel compassion for her pain and understanding for all of her rash choices and mistakes, but I am done owning her mistakes.  There is no part of me beyond a memory that would think, act, or feel the same way that I did at that age or the years following. 

Some would say it’s delusional to think that I am a different person, but I wholeheartedly  believe people change everyday and choose who they are. I no longer look at her story and use it to explain why I do things or how I feel in the present.  It can explain some of my past, but the story stopped resonating for me long ago. I choose to be the woman I am today knowing that the woman I will be tomorrow may or may not use the lens of my current self in the future. And I feel free and really good with that.

4 thoughts on “Are we really chained to our past?

  1. Wow! What an empowering and affirmative post. This is an extremely alchemical process that many seek, but few will ever really attain. I know I am still making my pilgrimage down this road. It’s difficult to see yourself outside of the collage of things you’ve come from.

    I think the resistance to let go of our old self and be in the moment comes from our need to put ourselves into some kind of context. People fear that if they just are… then they wont actually be. I guess you could say that your past propels you, but doesn’t make you. You decide in what way you will digest your experience.

    All the best!


  2. Thanks Shaheen! This was a very personal post for me and I appreciate the response so much. I think you saw in it what I intended and that affirms me. Incidentally, my friend Kathy just gifted me with a set of your cards last night! Wow, really beautiful work…looking forward to playing around with my intuition when I get a little free time!

  3. Kimmy. I am so happy to hear that your received one of my decks. It fills me with so much joy that those little cards get to become a part of peoples lives. I hope you enjoy them. And I hope you continue down your beautiful path… and keep sharing!

  4. Kimmy I really loved your personal-article and your writing style as well. I’ve been recently developing this kinda attitude and will see how things are going to work out. And as for you I’m so happy that you finally become free from your past. I didn’t know you then i don’t know now, but reading this article makes in somewhat tell that you’re now a totally different person, and I believe that you’re and should be proud of yourself. Keep it up 🙂

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