Working backwards

Hindsight is a terrible way to assess yourself. With the benefit of a little time and perspective, the you that made decisions in the past always looks like a bit of a fool. You didn’t have the advantage of additional information that you do now, so have a little (or a lot of) compassion for yourself.

Memory brings past experiences into the present, which can really complicate things. When you recall an experience, your memory of it is forever changed at a physical, chemical level. It’s almost like you re-encode it with information from your present.

That’s why it’s extremely important to be in a well-intentioned frame of mind when you do the work of delving into pain and trauma and mistakes from your past. If you’re fortunate enough to have access – real access, not just awareness – of a past, emotionally charged experience, the context of your present moment is critical.

Especially if your intention is to change your behaviour in the future, approaching your past needs some preparation. And some help. Trust, experience, and qualifications (actual training) might make all the difference between reliving a trauma, experiencing it again versus bringing it into a place where you can observe it, unpack it, and reclaim some power over yourself.