Most of what makes us who we are is based on the first seven years of our life.
Our personality and energy for the world form between the ages of one and seven.
After that age, we start to do the work and figure out who we are in reference to our relationships and evolution. We then base our self-worth on memories and the way people treat us.
As we evolve, memories shape our personality, we form habits, we are conditioned, and our memories continue to build, which ultimately make us who we are today. We base new friendships and situations on past ones because that’s all we know. We compare hardships and phases of life to past versions of ourselves, and we can tap into the dark times of our lives and feel that energy as if we time travel back to that moment.
In the same sense, people in our lives can only compare our current selves to a past version of us. Even if we have reinvented ourselves, let go of trauma, and healed deep wounds to become a better self…the only “you” they know is the “you” they knew before.
I have been teaching yoga consistently for six years. I am 100 percent a different person—mind, body, and soul—than I was in college. So, if someone from my past came into my life now and brought up something I did or said years ago, that would be a spiritual back slap to the past. It would instantly put me in a past box and label me as that version—the version who has been long gone. I’ve taught thousands of hours of yoga, which has reshaped and rewired my brain, my thought process, my self-knowledge, and even my vocabulary. Again, I’m not the same human I was, but others do not know that.
It’s a bittersweet road that we are on in self-development and growth because sometimes no matter how much work and effort we do to become a better person, people in our life will still label us as the past version of ourselves. The version who was acting out of rebellion, anger, low self-worth, confusion, and self-protection. This can lead us through a dark night of the soul, questioning who we really are. Because as we evolve and transcend away from our toxic past-self, we feel like we are misunderstood by the people from our past, keeping us in our past.
We have to learn that we cannot persuade people, nor should we spend our energy persuading friends or family to see and understand who we are now. We know who we truly are, and we know how we are trying to be a better person. Sometimes it requires us stepping away and giving relationships time to heal and settle and regrow
The phenomenon about awareness and mindfulness and letting go can actually free us from what is happening now rather than being constantly pulled back into our past.
Memory and experience will give us knowledge and help us grow, but we have to find that balance and draw the line. Meditation, deep breathing, and movement are all practices to move forward, and ground ourselves in the current moment and be.
We are not the same person we were last week or yesterday or last year. So why should we compare current life situations or relationships with people from our past? We need to keep looking forward and release our firm grip of the past, as it can hold us back tremendously for our own personal growth and spiritual development.