We are often told not to look back but to be ‘in the now’ or to look forward to the future. But there are various reasons why we can look back and times when it is good to look back.
I like to look back at my life journey so I can see what I have learned, or not learned as the case may be, so I can decide what I need to do next. I can reflect on my journey so far. I also like to look back in history to see how countries and people have changed over the centuries.
Looking back at my life can also bring to mind some wonderful memories, some which I have shared with others and some when I have made journeys alone. Yesterday I went out with my son and his partner to a local, wildflower farm. The sun was hot, the sky a clear blue, the flowers colourful and the butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies were out in abundance and stunningly beautiful. Tea and cake added to the day and it will be a day to remember when in years to come, I cannot get out to enjoy nature.
In my history/genealogy research, I am of course looking back, but I try to find out what life was like then, what people wore, and how they lived so that I am in a way bringing them alive. It enables me to see how much our world has changed in the last three or four hundred years.
So looking back for me is important. It enables me to make changes in the way I live my life and it also enables me to see how I do things differently than my ancestors. Do you look back and if so do you reflect on what you see? Does it help you to change the way you do things now? Does it help you to find out what is important in your life as it does in mine?
Here is one of the dragonflies from yesterdays memories.
How many times do you hear the words ‘Life’s not fair’? It isn’t though and there are many instances of injustice or lack of fairness. It is not just in our current times as it has gone on for centuries as I found when researching Victorian criminals. There was one rule for some and a different rule for others, generally chosen because they had a bit of education.
Injustice can be seen as an unjust act or occurrence or an unfair action or treatment of someone which violates their rights. People often say unfair things about people they call friends too. But how do you deal with it?
If you feel anger then deal with it and don’t feed your anger otherwise it can make you ill. If you can change an injustice then do so but there are many that you cannot change but that you have to live with. You can feel compassion for yourself and for those who are the victims of injustice but you need to prioritise what is most important. so choose to empower yourselves by separating the facts from your emotions.
In a world of fake news we have to be careful about our reactions to events and discern which are true before we can do something to try to make sure some of these injustices do not happen again.
In our current world, many injustices are coming to light for us to deal with and we are making progress with this If you want to fight injustice then choose one thing that you know you can change. Small changes lead to big changes and we can move towards a fairer world for us all but don’t expect things to change overnight It is a slow process.
Also remember that peace is important for us all so remain peaceful in whatever you do.
It is said that you should treat others in the way you want to be treated. This is easier said than done at times but many things are easy to do. You can say ‘Thank you’ when someone helps or advises you or holds the door open for you. You can do the same for others especially holding the door open. I struggle with doors as I use a crutch and often have a shopping basket on wheels so someone holding the door for me is very welcome but many times I have seen or even felt the door being left to swing back into me.
You can also help those who are vulnerable, maybe by helping someone to cross the road. I am sure you can think of many ways to do this. I like to think that I do these things and I try not to expect anything in return but a ‘Thank you’ would be nice to hear.
Unfortunately there are a lot of people around who do not do these things which I find really sad. I have often been told that I expect too much from my friends and others so now even though I find it easy to help others I find it difficult to ask for help and to accept it as well. I live on my own so often I need help around the house but I tend to try to do these things myself. When I have asked for help in the past I have watched the faces of those I asked and I can see whether they really are willing to help or are going to make excuses.
But expectations can go much deeper with those for whom you care deeply and love. If they do not offer help when needed you can feel deeply hurt but can you still care for them in the same way?
So what do I expect from my friends? I expect to share times of joy and laughter. I expect to share times of sadness and to be supported during bad times. I expect offers of help even though I haven’t asked for help and most of all I expect lots of hugs. What are your expectations?
This week as the weather has not been good for gardening, I have been catching up on my family history. Looking at the lives that some of my ancestors led makes me wonder how they survived. How much did the lives of my great grandparents influence the lives of my grandparents? And in turn how much did their lives influence those of my parents and in turn my life?
In my family history there are stories of time in the mental hospital because of depression and anxiety. There are those who resorted to drink to deal with the loss of small babies soon after birth. And there are those who turned to crime. How do you deal with the loss of several of your children when they are only babies? Today there are plenty of organisations to help you cope.
Today we take our health system for granted and we know there is always somewhere to go when ill or needing help if we want to do that. But years ago and not so many actually, there was no way of earning money if you were ill and there was no contraception. Some families had up to thirteen children, many of whom died young. How did they cope with that? What happened if the mother died? Some children were then adopted by relatives or sent away and some were even sent abroad.
How did this all affect our relatives, our grandparents for example? I know that one set of my grandparents did not have an easy life. My grandfather was very strict and there was no emotion allowed in their lives. There were no hugs or words of love and I know that this affected my mother at a deep level so that she was unable to show love either. This leads to a core wound of rejection, one that is hard to deal with.
If a grandparent or great grandparent was violent did that affect those that followed? You can see how the wounds from one generation can come into the next generation and unless those wounds are healed then they will continue in the coming generation as well.
I could write on but I hope have said enough for you to think about this and how your ancestors have affected your own life today. If you feel you have a core wound to heal then please find a way to do this so it doesn’t carry on in the future generations.