Over the weekend, I checked out "Her", the new Spike Jonze movie with Joaquin Phoenix. Great movie! Unusual premise, but it makes sense. In any case, there was a great line in the movie that keeps replaying in my head.
The past is a story we tell ourselves.
Meditate on that one for a bit!
Winston Churchill said "history is written by the victors". So, when we look back at the past, it's always colored by our perspective. No matter how impartial and unbiased we want to be, the past will always take on some of the way we saw things unfold.
So, because of this, even though the past is a great tool and reference point, it becomes unreliable when dealing with anything that has to do with emotion. When I remember a bad experience that took place running across a pedestrian bridge up above a highway, it makes me deathly afraid of heights today. The reality is that the bridge and what happened there have absolutely nothing to do with the ladder I need to climb or the plane I'm about to jump into. But my experiences and my past form a convenient story, or excuse, that makes it easier for me to say "no" to things in the present.
We do this all the time: "I can't do that! I had a bad experience way back when." So that story that we tell ourselves can create an insecurity that prevents us from experiencing life today.
What stories are you telling yourself that are keeping you from being all that you can be? Why are you allowing a memory to have power over your present? Can we re-write our history by taking charge of our decisions today? One day perhaps I'll be able to say that historical pedestrian bridge was a funny little moment as I bungee-jump off a present-day bridge. What about you?