Updated: Nov 16, 2021
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
How we have to forget in order to remember.
Remembering and forgetting are essential processes in every person’s development.
Most people go through three phases of development when it comes to their relationship to time.
In the first part of our life, we are developing memory or story. Right after birth we are forced to forget who and what we are in order to learn the ways of the world. Our story is written by others. We have very little control over how it is written until we are a teenager or young adult.
Then we start trying to make sense of our experiences, our relationships, and we start wanting to be our own person and writing our own story. School, especially higher education, allows us to peruse the wisdom of others and start to form our own ideas, beliefs, wants and desires.
At this time, we start being focused on the future. Most people in their young adulthood till about 40 are future focused. We are starting careers, raising families, building homes, saving money for old age.
Usually, people have an existential crisis at this point. The “Middle Life Crisis” happens to everyone just not always at the same time. At this time, we start examining our past. We go to therapy, we spend a lot of time in the past again, we recognize and deal with traumas, we go through the anger, regret, blaming, until we realize one hard truth:
WE are the only ones to blame for our situation, our unhappiness. We have been making choices all our life that got us where we are. Our misery I self-inflicted. It’s an existential crisis.
The Dark Night of the Soul is real. And necessary.
This is a crucial time when those who persevere start owning themselves. Forgiveness plays a great part in this evolution. Forgiveness of those who we feel wronged you, and forgiveness of ourselves for taking it personally. We realize those who wronged us were also unconscious of themselves. And we realize they had a role to play in our journey. Without those experiences we would not be who we are today. We would not reach this level of wisdom. There is no such thing as a perfect life. People with good parents, good childhoods, lots of money and opportunity also go through their own Dark Night of the Soul. It’s necessary. It’s a rebirth. It’s a “remembering” and a “forgetting”. Forgetting the past that does not serve us because the past only exists in our mind, every time we think of it. And remembering who we truly are, where we come from, and what we are here for.
That’s when we start living in the present.
And this is the last phase of our personal development.