Reflecting on the Past

Bussi Aderogba
Published in
3 min readSep 1, 2016


“The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased; it can only be accepted.”

The past is similar to an old box we have tucked away in the back of our attic. Inside it are photographs — some clear as day, while others are clouded and have faded with time. We all find ourselves opening that box once in a while, looking back on old memories; not only the ones that bring joy, but also the ones that induce heartache.

Reflecting on the past allows us to learn from our mistakes. However, it is easy to lose ourselves and get dragged into a bottomless chasm filled with questions of “what if’s” — “What if I did this” or “What if I didn’t say that.” All these questions form, leading you to be stuck in the past, either reminiscing or despairing.

We have all found ourselves dissecting the previous choices we have made in life. As a result, we often visualise the different outcomes that may have occurred if we altered those said choices. This is where the problem lies. We need to break away from this sort of thinking because if continued we will only find ourselves going nowhere in this journey called life.

“Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you”


Firstly, in order to focus on the future, you need to relinquish your tight grip on your past. This is not to say you cannot ever look back on the experiences you have been through. You can, memories are precious and one should never forget them. You do however need to know three simple steps when it comes to the reflecting on the past:


When dealing with the past, embrace the recollections of previous experiences. Do not fear them, for they helped create the person you are today.


When reflecting, don’t dwell on the mishaps, instead learn from them. This will help you grow as a person, and deter you from overthinking past situations.


Once you have learned from your mistakes, let go. Let the past forever remain in the past. Put your memories back into that old box in the attic. Not necessarily disregarding them, but leaving them until you have need of them again. Once you have completely let go of what was holding you back, you can finally focus on the present and the future.

You can create new memories. Memories both joyous and sorrowful, ones you can learn from, because while life is all about trial and error, your past doesn’t define you.

For you are the illustrator in your own life story.

I hope this article helps you in any way, shape or form. As always, feel welcome to drop a comment below and share any thoughts or opinions you may have.

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