The influence of the past on our personality, hopes and fears is deep, and difficult to trace. The past is by definition a collection of memories. It is also the journey on which we have picked up the skills required in our day to day activities, because of which we tend to believe that remembering the past will help, sustain (strengthen) and protect us. There are certainly great benefits in learning from our past mistakes, but too much attachment to the past can damage present satisfaction.
Many of us are very worried about avoiding past disaster, even to the extent that we forget how to enjoy the present or how to hope positively for the future. E.g. if we have been badly hurt by someone in the past, we may allow this to damage our self-esteem. We become worried that the unhappiness will occur again, because of which we see our current relationship with some other person with a negative frame of mind. As a result of that the negativity is reflected back at us. The relationship fails, which strengthens our belief in the past, and increases negative feelings about the future.
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