Stop Letting the Past Weigh You Down

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.” – Rafiki from Disney’s The Lion King


Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki swings stick and hits Simba on the head]
Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.
Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.
[Swings his stick again at Simba, but he ducks out of the way]


I have to give Disney some credit. They sure know how to put a deeper meaning behind just about all of their movies, and this little excerpt from The Lion King is one of my favorite examples of this.


This movie is considered by some to be one of the best Disney movies of all time and aside from the animation and the catchy tunes, this scene sends off a powerful message to everyone who watches it: accepting your past.


Bad things are going to happen to you, that’s just how life goes. You’re going to say or do something to someone and regret it. You’re going to make mistakes you know you shouldn’t have made. You’re going to wish you tried harder in certain situations.


And the list goes on and on and on.


So when these things happen you have the privilege of one of a couple of options. You could think about it all the time and let it weigh you down, you can try to forget about it and run away from the situation entirely, or you can accept it for what it is and learn from it.


Some people choose the first option and let the past weigh them down which brings about a feeling we commonly know as depression. Yeah, that feeling that seems like it takes the fun and life out of someone. That feeling that brings about a pain most other people may never seem to understand.


There’s no sense in giving one situation in your past all your time and devotion. That’s not fair to the situations that will happen to you in the future.


There’s a reason why those who are depressed about something in the past seem like they are lifeless and that’s because they’re focused on a situation that IS lifeless. What happened to you before is dead and gone. Ever wonder why happy people are so happy? That’s because they’re focused on situations that are alive today. It’s a matter of thinking “Hey this is me today and I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow, but I’m excited to find out!”


Yeah, depression sucks. So don’t choose the first option.


Now let’s look at your second choice.


You can just completely avoid the situation and run from it, but I would not recommend this option either. This shows that you are afraid to confront the situation in the past and hey, aren’t we always taught to face our fears head on? Yeah, what happened may hurt for some time, but get that out of your system. Once you’re past the initial feelings you can analyze the past for what it is and take away some valuable life lessons from it.


Now this brings us to your third option: accepting your past and learning from it.


There’s a reason why we take history classes growing up. We’re learning from past mistakes and successes and using this knowledge in the present. I don’t think I have to tell you about how dark history can get at times but by learning from these past mistakes others have made we can see the consequences of their actions and learn to not make the same mistakes.


Your past is in fact your own history book.


You’ve been writing it your whole life and you will continue to write it the rest of your life. Ever read a book and hated a certain part or the ending of it? Well the great thing about your book is you’re the writer and only you can determine how the story plays out. Think about what you would want the title of a biography about your life to be.


A history of the one and only Parker Zelasko: dentist, blogger, and extraordinary person… I can see it now…


Sorry got a little sidetracked there, anywho next time you look at your past think of it as a history book and what you can learn from past mistakes and successes. You’re going to make mistakes in life. Who cares? You’re human. It’s bound to happen, and a lot of the problems we’re concerned with right now won’t even be relevant in the future.


Our initial feelings when something bad happens to us are often the strongest feelings we have towards the situation. No matter what happens whether it’s something little or not it feels like the biggest problem in our life right now. Once you give it some time and clear your mind you can see the situation from a new light and the “bad thing” might end up resulting in something wonderful happening in your life.


Whatever is troubling you right now I want you to think about what happened right now whether it’s hard for you too or not. When you think about this situation I want you to do three things with it:


1. Say three positive things about the situation and don’t say “There is nothing positive about this situation” that’s BS. And don’t try to think of something positive do think of it. It may seem hard right now but something good can come out of this situation, whether it’s a change in mindset or the possibility of another opportunity arising.

2. Ask yourself if look at this situation 10 years from now would it still be as big of a problem? If your answer is no (and chances are it is) then stop worrying about it. If it’s not going to upset or frustrate you down the road then there’s no point in wasting any of your time on it today.

3. Think about the situation from an outsider’s point of view. If you told your friend what you did what advice would they give you? They’d probably “Don’t worry about, just give it some time to blow over.” Thinking about a situation from someone else’s point of view can help you see things in a different light sooner.


You can get through this. Stay strong, keep your head, and avoid any unnecessary stresses on your body and mind.


You can learn so much from your past so don’t be bitter towards it. Accept it with open arms.


So, now that I’ve given you your three options you can decide which one is right for you: depression from it, running away from it, or learning from it.


You already know which one I would choose.


Image Source


Hakuna matata y’all!


Good luck and I hope this made you smile!