Have You Ever Wanted to Rescue Yourself from Your Past?

Have You Ever Wanted to Rescue Yourself from Your Past?
Cristina Roda Rivera

Written and verified by the psychologist Cristina Roda Rivera.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Have you ever felt like you wanted to rescue yourself from your past? Or like you wanted to go back and fix problems from your past, even if they don’t have any bearing on your current situation? Do you think that how you used to be doesn’t fit who you really are?

This feeling has to do with human beings hiding a certain fragility. Our emotional memory, housed in our amygdala, plays tricks on us. We want to be at peace with the past, to say the things we never said, and take charge of our personality.

It’s hard for us to accept that we are who we are. You should embrace your past instead of trying to fix it. You don’t have to rescue anything from you past to keep yourself afloat today. You just have to keep swimming with any baggage you may picked up over time.

Maybe your backpack is full of knowledge from lessons you’ve taken from your past. Or maybe it’s stuffed with stones threatening to sink you. Heavy stones of “I should have…” or “what if I would have…”

Don’t try to unravel your past, you’ll get stuck

It’s not a good idea to try to unravel the knots of your past. Every day we take risks and make mistakes, but we also learn. Even if you don’t learn anything, that doesn’t mean you should let past mistakes take the pleasure out of life.

When you try to pull a thread in your past, you’ll just get more tangled. Some threads connect, others only entangle and undo what you’ve already achieved. Maybe it’s better to pick up your needles and keep weaving.

If you try to get out of a hole by digging more, you’ll just dig yourself deeper. If you try to unravel the knot, you will get trapped. You’ll never be able to erase the story of your life. 

Learning from your past.

Imagine digging and digging to try to get out of the hole you’re in. Well, that’s what it’s like every time you try to get answers from the past. You waste time trying to pick the perfect tool to dig yourself out. We’ll never know why we couldn’t handle some challenge in our past with the peace we have now. Because, truthfully, it was that very challenge that helped develop our peace.

Looking for a reason, looking for salvation in your past

As we go through life building our identity, sometimes we have to answer the why’s. However, most of the time we just try to keep ourselves safe. The difference lies in two important points:

  • If you need to answer questions in order to get something valuable that you lost back again, you’re looking for healing explanations. You want to clarify something from the past to improve your present.
  • If you need to talk about something from the past in order to justify yourself, look better, or try to hurt someone who wronged you, you’re looking to protect your ego. You’re not spending your time building anything.
A paper boat.

You don’t need anything from your past. There’s no need to find answers to questions whose time has already passed. You are here and now. So stop digging and instead use your tools to plant seeds, nourish the soil, and water your garden so it can grow.

Trying to find answers from your past just because of your ego may just make your present worse. So stop digging yourself into a whole and start growing something beautiful.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.