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How Our Past Affects Us

Updated on October 1, 2012

Our Personal History is Part of Everything We Do

Where does your past lead you towards?
Where does your past lead you towards? | Source

Our Personal History is a Part of Each of Us

Our personal history lives within each of us. It speaks of our past, of experiences we have had, of people we have met. Our personal history is intertwined with our culture, our society, and the beliefs we have formed. Our personal history is created from our interpretation of facts and fantasy from these events and memories that may or may not have really occurred.

Our personal history is part of every decision we make, the way we think, our personality, our careers, our choice of mates and friends, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the house we live in, the lifestyle we live. The messages we tell ourselves, the things we believe, what we tell ourselves and others, and how we behave are just some of the results from our past. Our personal history in one way or another, has led us to where we are today. It is an important aspect of the person we are now. It is leading us towards a direction of the person we will be tomorrow.

For some people, their personal history is hard to let go. For some people their personal history led them to take different directions than their past experiences.

Some people look to recapture their history. Some people are have gotten over the unpleasantries of their past. Some people are haunted by their memories. Some people co-exist with it. Some people don’t remember their past accurately. Some people try to ignore their past. And some people overanalyze their personal history.

Our Experiences Shape Us

We all have a story to tell. We all try to understand our experiences, and to make sense of it. It is, afterall, our past selves that define us. We are marked and molded by the events we have experienced. Some scar us. Some empower us. Some have put us to great tests of human endurance. Some leave us with an appreciation for having gone through it. We live with these memories of our past and take them forward into our future.

Everyday and everything adds to our personal history. The impressions these make on our minds, our hearts, and the inner core of who we are, shape everything we do in one way or another.

The people in our lives, and the experiences we have gone through make up our personal history. Our story always includes characters and events. Every encounter validates our beliefs, our hurts, our joys.

Our personal history tells us much about ourselves. It has been said that a person tells you everything about themselves in the first 15 minutes you meet them. Our personal history is always a part of us. We tell our history and live out our pasts either by repeating it, or remaking it.

We try to get beyond the negative we have been exposed to. But sometimes we find comfort in what we know, even if it is unpleasant.

We try to make sense of what we have witnessed. Some people are chained to their past. Some are frozen with fear to move forward. Some people never get over their past. Some come to a point of self acceptance. Some try to ignore their past. Some try to make their past have some purpose.''

Everyone looks to protect themselves from the pain they have lived through. Everyone looks to relive the best of times. We all want to live a better life.

We want to grow and gain, to change what needs to be changed, and to hold onto the positive. We try to gain wisdom from our past, and to change what we can. Life is a journey because change is not a destination. It is part of our obligation to ourselves to make a better tomorrow based on what our personal history has taught us.

Our Perceptions and Our Past

Sometimes our memories are flawed, or even fantasies, because we choose what we want to remember. Our stories shape our personality, impacts our every decision, and determines the courses we take, and the choices we decide for ourselves and others we know .

Our perception, our illusions, our attitudes, our fortitude play a role in these changes and choices. We may try to reflect on what we have gone through, or may not. It always adds to our personal history. Some of us make the difficult choice to change. Some, choose to blame others for the things that have happened to them. We all know, we can’t change our past. We all strive to make our future better.

Our story, painful or pleasant, is what makes us whole. It answers on many conscious and unconscious levels why we do what we do, and who we are. We can look at our personal history and reflect on who we are, or we can blame others and never learn, and blossom into a greater person than the one from the past. We can be masters of our future, and designers of our destiny, and creators of lives.

There are many characters that play a prominent role in our personal history. Families is one of them. Families as a unit have their personal history too. There is the family past, the dilemmas they struggle with, the individual personalities each deals with, the drama that ensues, and the encounters each face with each other. Family dynamics have as much to do with power, intimacy, loving, losing, rivalry, conflict, and pressures.

All this, plus the past being carried into the present and future, makes up a tremendous part of our personal histories. What we believe about the story of our growing up, becomes a foundation for many of the choices we make.

It would be unusual to move forward without any strife. We naturally continue on a path that we know, that is comfortable and familiar. This is one of the reasons change is so difficult. We fear the unfamiliar. We would rather feel safe. Often we fear change because we think negatively about it. We dare to dream, to take chances, to believe in our possibilities.

Self Awareness

As you review your own personal story, you might want to reflect on your role in your story. What makes you do the things you do? How are you victim in this story? What do you do that causes these things to happen to you? What happens if you tell your personal history without blaming someone else for what happened to you?

Our memories are imperfect. Our perspective is always skewed. One way to help make a change is to retell your story to yourself, by allowing yourself to find a way you were empowered by the events that occurred. To see some gratitude, because it wasn’t all bad. And in the reverse situation, when you are longing to get back that which seemed so wonderful to your memory, remember, it wasn’t all good.

Our personal history makes up the fabric of our lives, the wonderful memories, the gifts we have, the tradegies we live with, the scars we wear on our heart. How do we make meaning out of the mess? Where is the path we are on leading us to? What do you want from your life, your efforts, your dreams? What courage do you need to move forward, to get beyond your past, to make sense of your personal history?

It begins and ends with an awareness... an awareness of ourselves, our place in our world, and our thoughts, and behaviors. Shortly after you finish reading this, you will be confronted with some choice. What you do next is based on your personal history. You can do the same thing you have always done, or you can help yourself become more aware, and make purposeful choices that will truly lead you where you want to go.

Making Changes in Yourself

Have patience with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be aware of the things you do,things you say, the things you think. Your self messages inspire your thoughts and validate your beliefs about whether you want to continue with t he same personal history, or what you want to change about it. We carry our past into our present. It is unavoidable.

We are forever changed by the things that happen to us. Some things we are powerless to change. But within ourselves, we have the power to make things different. We can make choices that reflect our true selves.

We are not enslaved by the things that have already happened. The world is waiting for you. You are waiting for you. Inspire yourself to be who you know you can be, to live the life you want to live, to love to know joys and pleasure, and reach the closest you can to the potential that sits within you. Your personal history is just a story that can be told from a different perspective.

You have the power to rewrite your story that not even happened yet. The possibilities that are dormant within you, the complacency you allow, and the suppression you impose on your potential may not be the story you wa t to be written for your future. The changes you seek await you. It is not an easy road to make changes.

Rewrite Your Personal History

Changes are an important part of making things different for ourselves
Changes are an important part of making things different for ourselves | Source

Change is Never Easy, But Rewards Await You

  • take responsibility for your part in your story

  • be honest and true to yourself
  • deal with your pain, your hurt, your anger, your disappointment. Understand your feelings are real. Let yourself feel these emotions so that you can begin your future with a clearer knowledge about yourself.
  • Grieve what you have lost. Let yourself feel and in time you will feel freer and stronger and better able to move forward.
  • focus on your positives
  • surround yourself with supportive people. Gain encouragement from positive people. Get rid of the t oxic people. What place do th

  • Shift the emphasis to what you need, what makes you happy. Don't worry about pleasing others.
  • Assess where you can make positive change in your life.
  • Define and affirm what you're able to do today.
  • Take on the challenges that await you with optimism and a renewed challenge to write your history, knowing you have consciously and purposefully made choices for yourself.

Use your past to bring you full circle.


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    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Bill, Our past is very much a part of us, and our experiences do shape us. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Patty, I am glad you found this hub thought provoking. Our past is a part of us, but it doesn't have to define us. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • viveresperando profile image


      6 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      Enjoyed reading this. It is so true how our past can shape us. We can allow it to also change us for the better it does not have to make us who we are today. I have been reading about childhood memories and found this very timely. Great hub!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Profound words and an excellent hub. Our past does shape our actions and who we are. Self-awareness is key to not getting bogged down in the past. We should use that self-knowledge to live the best we can in the "now" and look toward the future.

      Voted Up+++

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend, yes i do agree with what you have written here in your awesome hub. Our experiences in life shape us into who we are . Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A great hub about self-awareness. You are so right, our experiences do shape us....very good job on this one my friend. Great read!

    • Pages-By-Patty profile image


      6 years ago from Midwest

      Very thought provoking hub!

      It seems like when I think of "my past", it instantly evokes every emotion possible and to the greatest depth. Funny how two little words have so much power.

      Great reminder that we shouldn't let our past monopolize our present or jeopardize our future!


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