There is a popular phrase that encourages us to ‘let the past be the past’. I disagree with this. The past should not just be the past. It should be a teacher of life lessons. It should be a rearview mirror – one which is glanced at now and then to ensure present and future safety.
I believe that phrase was meant to warn against dwelling on the past in a negative manner. One would profit nothing if one delved into the past and returned to the present with nothing but bitterness, resentment, anger, hate and a plot to seek revenge towards one’s self or others. Then I’d suggest cease and desist from visiting the past until your mind is renewed.
However, if one delves into the past and returns to the future feeling motivated to correct errors, develop a plan to change and feeling hopeful about the present and future, it is then profitable and conducive to a better you.
Reflecting on the past is useful for analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Whether this is geared towards one’s self or others. The past is a crucial reference for the present and future.
In a health-care setting, past medical history is usually reviewed before an assessment of the current complaint/illness. This is done to remind, inform or update the health-care team of the patient’s history, progress or decline in health. Knowing this helps the health-care team to provide the patient with the treatment plan that is most suited for healing (health and wellbeing).
In the same way mentally, or in writing, document parts of your past that are relevant to current struggles. Analyze them and make an assessment. Plan changes or continue to make changes. Implement changes and evaluate and track progress.