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Our Past Doesn’t define who we are – But it does play a part.

Some believe we should ignore our past and just move forward. But it’s not always that easy. Past events can leave an emotional scar, often affecting you physically.

Just a physical accident or injury to your body will leave a scar as a reminder. It's not always in your conscious mind, but there may well be those reminders.

I fractured my ankle a few years ago. It healed well, but occasionally I will get a slight twinge in that area. Something to remind me of that event.

Luckily it had no long-lasting effect, whereas some events can.

If you lost a finger, you would learn to adapt – even though it could cause problems at times. You would need to learn how to use the other fingers to compensate.

It’s the same with past childhood or earlier adult experiences. Events happened that had an effect at the time and continue to do so.


Sexual abuse,




Abusive relationships

Absent caregivers


Resulting in you lacking in self-confidence, worthless, believing you are stupid.

Those messages are stored in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, rather like in a photo album as an important memory, and interestingly tend to hold onto negative messages rather than the positive ones. Most likely as part of our survival system – Fight of flight.

Stored for future reference, and triggering you at times, when you respond inappropriately, your emotions and reactions out of proportion to the situation, and you can’t understand why.

By making meaning of those past events, having awareness and understanding, enables you to put it into perspective. Just as losing a finger doesn't define you as a person, neither do those past events either.

You have many more facets to you, encompassing the scars, acknowledging them, and adapting to them, and help build your resilience.

They are part of what makes you, the individual that survived those experiences, and didn't give up.

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