Sheriff Sarah

Sheriff Sarah

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pondering Our Past

I'm working on a series of essays & articles about my dad growing up on a duck club in the Bay Area cities of Irvington and Fremont. It's fascinating to listen to his stories or reading the emails he began writing over 10 years ago. This exercise got me thinking about the past. How often do we hit pause on our lives, take a few minutes, or maybe hours, and consider our past? Speaking for myself, I don't do it nearly enough.

There are several reasons we should ponder the past which could positively impact our lives. Recalling that past:

1) Strengthens family bonds. Whether this is retelling family stories to your kids or reconnecting with your parents or siblings as you grow older, your perspective can be altered.

2) Brings a greater understanding of who we are. You may never have known why you acted a certain way or why you clashed with certain people, were blessed with certain talents and not others. Revisiting the past can fill in those holes.

3) Consider lessons learned. Did we repeat a mistake our grandfather made? Did we alter our family's future by removing alcoholism from the equation? Did our parents give us a positive tradition that will be passed on for ages beyond us?

4) Nurtures gratefulness. When we're young men and women,  we seldom consider what sacrifices our parents or those who raised us made. Or maybe gratefulness for removing yourself from a dangerous situation strengthened you as you matured. It's imperative we look for the good things in our lives that changed us. Gratefulness can prevent seeds of bitterness or disillusionment from blossoming.

I'm certain you could add many items to this list and it goes without saying you don't need to just apply this to your familial ties but your past careers, relationships, education, spiritual experiences, etc. Try to set aside just a little time today and ponder your past. Thank those you need to and teach those who need to know.

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