We May Think That We’re Through With The Past, But The Past Ain’t Through With Us

To a greater or lesser extent, the first ways in which the world has made sense to us continue to underpin our whole subsequent experience and actions.” – R.D. Laing

To a greater or lesser extent, the ways in which the world first presented itself to us—whether it presented us with regular—or irregular—dosages of chaos, upheaval, brutality, harshness, invalidation, abandonment, insensitivity, anti-love, others’ selfishness, lies, deception; or whether it presented us with safety, warmth, tenderness, security, real love, understanding, validation, sensitivity, structure, support, guidance, kindness, and showed itself to be a nurturing and safe and trustworthy place—will continue to underpin the whole of our subsequent experience and actions. And if our past was terrifying, unsafe, if others let us down, did not actually love us, didn’t try to take on and overcome their own issues and neuroses in order to extend themselves to love and nurture us when we were children, if we were surrounded by bad role models instead of good and decent one, then unless—unless—we begin deeply facing our past—the full catastrophe of our past—and how it has affected us and wired us, and begin letting ourselves fully feel and begin processing that original pain and chaos, it will not only haunt us for the rest of our lives, it will likely be what runs us (and makes us run) for the rest of our lives.

In other words, we may think that we’re through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.