Self

Everything Happens For A Reason: Why Our Past Shapes Us, But Doesn't Define Us

Photo: Oksana.Bondar / Shutterstock
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By Allie Braun

We live in the now, so why does our past matter?

We never want to dwell on it. I mean, that’s where all the bad things are, right? The heartbreaks, the mistakes you made, the things you can't change.

All we want to do is move forward. It’s the whole “the sun will come out tomorrow” mentality that Annie taught us.

But sometimes we need our pasts to be able to move forward.

RELATED: How To Change The Way You See Your Past — And Reclaim Your Future

We are stuck in this push-and-pull effect. Our past is pulling us back and our future is pulling us away from it. We’re stuck in the present, affected by our past, and working towards the future.

That move your family had when you were seven? It changed your life. Think about it. You changed schools, made new friends, and had to reinvent yourself the same way you do multiple times throughout your life.

Your success in high school determines your college experience. Then college sets you up for the career you have. And the career shapes the rest of your life.

That best friend that ditched you when you went into high school? Yeah that sucked, and yeah you felt left behind and betrayed because you didn’t put all that effort into your friendship to just have it end.

But losing them helped strengthen your other friendships — the friendships that you really needed in your life. Your friends who will one day be your bridesmaids. The ones that will last a lifetime and not just until your college graduation and everyone goes in different directions.

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And then there’s that boy. The one you loved and will always have a soft spot for because he was the first person to really steal your heart.

He may have been your best friend. Or maybe the boy that sat next to you in math that you only talked to when he asked you a question about the homework.

Either way he has probably shaped you more than you can tell and more than he will ever know.

He has set the path for how you allow other boys to treat you. You will always look for guys like him even if you don’t mean to. You will look for the guys with the big hearts and brown eyes simply because that’s what he has.

Your past is very much a part of your present because your past is very much a part of you. The people and places that you grew up with are part of you and you can’t ever really out run that.

The way you talk, the way you treat other people, even the way you treat a class all shows your character. And let’s face it, all your past does is assist you in developing the person you’re striving to become.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Stop Living In The Past So You Can Finally Move On With Your Life

Allie Braun is a writer attending Furman University pursuing a degree in Sustainability Science. Her work focuses primarily on relationships, current events, and lifestyle topics.

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This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.