The Past Is What We Were, Not What We Are

We all remember our past, sometimes to meet again, sometimes to remember our experiences and other times to know who we are. It is necessary to differentiate that our history has an important relevance in our present, but also that past that we believe is nothing more than our construction. It is true that the past gives us identity, but it does not define who we are today. 

We are the ones who select and choose the memories that we extract from it, paying attention to some aspects while leaving others out. It is necessary to understand the error on which that belief is founded, taking into account that what we remember is only a part of what we live, therefore, it does not define us.

We are not our past but what we did and do to improve it, move forward and rebuild. That attitude is what defines us, the one that shows who we really are and the one that will accompany us throughout our lives. Only our present can define us, it is in the present moment where our actions and our thoughts determine who we are.

“We are the memory we have and the responsibility we assume, without memory we do not exist and without responsibility we may not deserve to exist”

-José Saramago-

What we were

Our thoughts are almost 70% of the time in the past. The past is an archive that we have and it should serve us as learning to face new situations similar to those we have already experienced.

Hasn’t it ever happened to you that thoughts are interrupted by memories of the past? We mortify ourselves by the past, reliving over and over again in our mind negative events that have happened; an argument with our partner or at work, adverse circumstances.

We regret  what we have done, what we have not done, what we did and what we could have done better. All these thoughts lead us to suffering and discomfort, handcuffing us, preventing us  from being and acting in the moments we are living.

What is the use of thinking about what we were, if we are no longer

What we are

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said: “ Men should know that from the brain, and only from it, come joys, delights, pleasure, laughter, and also suffering, pain and lamentations. And through him, we gain wisdom and knowledge and we see and hear and know what is right and what is wrong, what is sweet and what is bitter.

And by the same organ, we go crazy and delirious and fear and terror assail us. It is the ultimate power in man. It is our interpreter of those elements that are in the air. When the brain is connected in the present, it is more difficult for us to have misaligned thoughts about the past or about the future.

We can only be what we are in the present moment. When our brain is 100% on something, we free ourselves from stressful situations, putting aside involuntary thoughts and focusing on what is happening or we are doing at this very moment.

The great advantage of being aware of who we are in the present moment is that our mind is not distracted by negative thoughts. In general, when the conception of what we are is lost in memories and worries, we live more anguished and we become more distracted. However,  when we focus on who we are and not what we were we are happier and more productive.

“Often people say they have not found themselves yet. But the self is not something that one finds, but something that one creates “

-Thomas Szasz-

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