Have you ever wondered how to keep those pesky issues from your past relationships from cropping up like weeds in your present relationship? Does it seem that no matter how hard you try, the same old patterns keep replaying like a stuck record?
It’s an old saying, “No matter where you go, there you are.” But, unless you take specific steps to avoid it, it’s just as true that, “No matter where you’ve been, there you go!”
What do we mean by this?
Simply put, people don’t take responsibility for consciously creating a future that draws them to it. More often than not, they take what’s happened in the past and expect that this is most likely what’s going to happen to them in the future. Then they live into that prediction.
We can guarantee that you’re doing this if you’ve ever asked yourself some version of these two questions:
Why does the same thing keep happening to me over and over again?
Why don’t I learn from my mistakes?
Past, Present and Future
Without getting into a quantum physics argument, time in the physical realm flows from the past, to the present, and then into the future. But since we human beings have a memory–and are so very, very good at creating meaning–we form opinions about what’s happened to us in the past and apply these opinions to what’s happening to us now as a way to predict our future.
The future tends to be this big, scary, black hole of the unknown, and we don’t like the unknown very much. This leads to the obsession with predicting the future we humans have always had.
In our human perception of time there is our memory of our past, our experience of the present–which is colored by our experiences in the past–and then there is this big blank space called our future. And since we don’t like these big blank spaces we tend to fill our future with predictions that we base on our past experiences.
So instead of past, present, future, our timeline looks more like: past, present, past. In other words, we put our past in our future and then live into that.
Starts to make sense why history repeats itself, doesn’t it?
Predictability = Safety — T’aint Necessarily So
It’s obvious people want to predict the future because they believe this will create greater safety or security. The problem with this is that our prophecies tend to be both: 1) of the worst possible scenario, and 2) self-fulfilling.
This is not a good combination. Whenever you predict a future based on your unpleasant experiences in the past, you are very likely to fulfill on your prophecy of an unpleasant future.
So how do you get your past out of your future?
The first thing is to believe that your future is entirely unpredictable and then make a commitment to stop using your past experiences to predict it. It’s okay to use your past to inform your future, but not to predict it.
Now granted, this is much easier said than done because you can’t ever stop doing anything, you can only start doing something else.
We suggest you start getting very clear about what values you weren’t experiencing in your past by exploring these “recurring” past experiences that you don’t enjoy. Once you identify what you value that is missing for you in these experiences , you can then put all of your attention on ways to get more of this in your future.
Using the information about what you value most in life is how you use your past to inform your future. But first you have to believe that–since your future is unpredictable–it is possible for you to have what you value in the future. We find many people don’t believe this.
The trick here is to make very concrete plans for how you can experience more of what you value in the future, and then take whatever actions you need to in order to have those plans happen.
We can’t guarantee that you will get what you want, because the future is unpredictable!
But, since what you focus your attention on grows–and since you’re focusing your attention on what you value and on specific plans to get it–we’re confident that you’re much more likely to get it than if you keep filling up your future with your past.
With a commitment to your success,
Beth and Neill