Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Breaking Free of the Past?

I shared this story with a friend very dear to my heart today and I thought I would give you all something to think about too.

I family is moving to a new town because Dad got transferred. They pack their belongings and head out in the car. About five miles outside the new town, they stop for gas. The father asks the attendant how the people are in the new town.

The attendant asks "How were the people in your old town?"

The father replies. "We had the most wonderful neighbors, they were kind, considerate, everyone helped each other out in bad times. We just loved it there."

The attendant says "Well, then you're in luck. You'll find the exact same type of people in our town."

Shortly after another family pulls up. Coincidentally they are also relocating and asked the same question.

The attendant asks "How were the people in your old town?"

The father replies. "Oh, our neighbors were horrible. They were loud, always bothering us for one reason or another. In short we disliked them all."

The attendant says "Well, I am sorry to tell you this, but you'll find the exact same type of people in our town."

How does one overcome the attitudes that hold one back from happiness? Is the past destined to remain a chain that is dragged from situation to situation?

What do you think?


Libby said...

christine, this is DEFINITELY not an easy thing to do! you KNOW i'm still trying...but, it'll best days are still ahead, i keep remembering that...

razorbeck said...


I am one of those people who let go of the past and move on so I guess I am not one destined to be dragged down by the past.

Quite often people remind of things from the past and I have no initial memmory of the incident and I have to concentrate to remember the incidents they are describing

I guess I am lucky that way

Either that or my memory sucks

Christine said...

Razor..I don't think it refers to a specific incident but more the chains of our bad relationships and the junk we carry into our next ones. Whether romantic, friendships or family dealings.

Hope said...

ON my best of days I hope not. On my worst ones, I have none of that clarity. Good thing the lessons for learning this keep offering themselves.

Jenny Fabulous said...

I believe that it depends on the individual. Are they optimistic or pessimistic? I always try to find the good in day to day life. No matter how hard. I always ask myself before getting upset or letting something continuously bother me: When I wake up in the morning will this still seem important?

Christine said... hit the nail on the head. There are people either one extreme or the other. I am overly optimistic, I take chances and find happiness even in the worst of situations. A friend of mine is the total opposite. If there is a week of good and five seconds of bad in that week, the entire week sucked.

BUT, can people like that change? I am less "optimistic" than I used to be regarding that very issue. It is hard to maintain a friendship with someone who has the exact opposite outlook on life no matter how much you care for them.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I tend to stay away from the "Captain Bringdowns" of the universe. It makes my outlook a lot sunnier!

Efen said...

Besides it being dependent on the type of person you are (and I firmly believe that you make your own luck...good or bad)I think there is another factor that people tend not to see...and that is what type of people do we associate ourselves with?

I have seen so many people try to break out from whatever situation they were in (alcohol, drugs, abusive partners, gambling, etc) but were never able to...and the reason 'why' was because they surrounded themselves with those that were having the same exact issues and saw no reason to change their own behavior. In fact, they made it even more difficult if 'one of their own' was trying to change things for the better.

Thats pretty much why I have narrowed my 'true friend' list down to a handful over the years....there just aren't many that one can truly trust. That sounds pretty jaded but I think anymore thats the real world.

janeywan said...

I'm a firm believer we create our reality. If one thinks their going to have a shitty day, guess what more often then not they will.
That's what the attendant was saying, right?

John Gray said...

have you thought of writing sa book????
just wondered

vinomom said...

Getting deep today eh? Funny that you describe yourself as overly optimistic. I haven't been reading your blog long but would probably not describe you that way. However, maybe you are like me,and when you write, it is because you are down or upset about something. I look back on journals kept over the years and the only time I ever wrote was to complain. I never wrote during the good times, of which there were many.

Anyways - I believe Like finds Like. If you don't like who you are then it will be a constant huge effort to find and surround yourself with people who ideal who you WANT to be.

On the same token, I don't believe people really ever change all that much.

I suppose that's a bit contradictory. Sorry.