You Cannot Change the Past. You Can Change in the Present, and the Future.

Life can only be understood backwards. But it must be lived forwards.”

— Kierkegaard

Very true. The psychiatric industry has promoted the idea for years that until or unless you “deal with your past”, you cannot move forward. But they never take the time to explain or identify what “dealing with” the past means. Sure, it means going to a therapist on a weekly basis for an undetermined amount of time. While this may be a good deal for the therapist, it’s never explained what the patient or client is to get out of it. It’s simply an article of unarticulated faith.

The past only matters in terms of its impact on who you are in the present. The solution to your problems isn’t to say, “Well, a lot of things happened to me in my past. I have to talk about them indefinitely.” The solution is closer to something like this: “A lot of things happened to me in the past. Some of those things were terrible. So how did I survive them? What strengths do I have, to get as far as I have despite this past? And what faulty thinking or behavior in the present still exists because of the past? Why is the thinking or behavior faulty, and what steps can I start taking TODAY — even small steps — to act or think in a different way?”

You don’t have to talk about the past for the sake of talking about the past. Again, this may be good for the psychiatric industry professional who’s getting paid. What you need is more of a life coach, than a therapist. The life coach can help you identify what your strengths are and how you can capitalize on those strengths in the present, and in the future.

In that respect, Kierkegaard was right.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

More details on solution-focused life coaching here.

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