Projecting Past Experiences On Others

What Does Living in the Past Mean?

Do you live in the past?  Most people I’ve talked to recently, seem to live in the past. You’re probably wondering what that means?  It’s when people project their past experiences on others, as if it will happen in the future or is happening now.

Since this is the time when a child is getting ready to advance into another grade, you can see how the different triggers show up.  One example that comes to mind is when one’s child goes to school, whether it’s high school, elementary school, or middle school.  When the parent’s experience was traumatic in whichever grade, you’ll see a panic in the parent when the child is in that same time period.

Projecting Your Past on to Your Child

Most parents tend to project and pass their experiences down the family line.  Hence patterns, good or bad, will continue. Writing Manifesting Me helped me see this tendency more clearly than ever.  I went to a tough elementary school where there were no shortage of fights.  By the time I went to middle school (which was junior high back in the day), I had already gone through what most middle school age kids went through; leaving me with a rather unusually good experience.

When my kids were in elementary school, all I could think about was if my child was getting picked on.  Were they afraid to use the bathroom, like I was?  It’s funny because I didn’t have those thoughts when they entered middle school like the rest of the world. Obviously, I based everything on my own past experiences.

If a person was a wild child and partied like a rockstar in the 80’s, that same person might be inclined to think all kids are doing the same kinds of crazy stuff.  I have found today, that some teens may be doing some of the same drug experimenting, but it seems to be less common as it was when I was growing up.  Thankfully, my kids and their friends never partied the same way I did in the past.

Living in the Past at Work

Another example are when young people enter into an industry that changes continually, such as music, beauty, writing, etc.  The older generation sometimes lives in the past and don’t want to accept change; especially in this new world of technology.  The younger generation has learned to  use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Yelp, etc. to advertise.  This might seem easier than beating the streets, but there comes a time that we all must evolve and live in the now.  What worked well a long time ago, might not be as useful. Or you can think of it as another tool and add it into your repertoire.

With smartphones you can show off your work and advertise at any given time. Plus, it’s cheaper than running ads. Anything that can make your job easier, I say go for it.  There is always a silver lining.

Some Examples are More Subtle

There are other subtle examples of living in the past such as where your fears lie when it comes to finances, relationship, and career.  I grew up in a household with fear-based thinking around money.  My mother stressed more outwardly about money issues with my older sister than me, which lead to my sister’s mindset of lack of money to a much higher degree than mine.  There’s a feeling of never enough money.

I can tell when a person has grown up with a view of lack of money.  It doesn’t matter how much money they make, whether it’s $50,000.00 or $200,000.00, it’s the same thought process; it’s never enough. This sounds pretty silly, but I’ve seen it.  It really boils down to a scarcity mentality, which probably has been taught through past generations.

People who have grown up with parents surviving the Great Depression tend to save and ration.  Not so long ago, my grandmother would by things for two bits ($0.25) at a garage sale just in case someone could possibly use it. Talk about living in the past. That’s what people did back then.

Being Grateful for the Past

Not all ways are bad from the past.  The interaction we had with each other in the past was something to be cherished.  Technology can’t give you personal one-on-one connections.  Not having all of the devices around for constant entertainment, gave us a chance to explore our imaginations. When I was little playing with the neighborhood girl and my sister, we used the thorns from rose bushes, as people to fit in our Hot Wheels cars.  We were forever in a make-believe world, and it was fun.

Our parents didn’t  hover over us every second worrying whether someone would kidnap us.  We learned how to be resourceful, since they had a sense of value of money and didn’t shower us with the latest gadgets. They didn’t try to out do another parent by buying lavish gifts, which seems to be more prevalent today.

Gadgets do exist now, and we live in a new time. It’s an era of technology and things move more quickly than ever.  Take what is good from the past and apply it to the present, but evolve yourself in this day and age and take it for what it is. Some changes have made life great. I wouldn’t want to wash all of my clothes by hand. Can you see the positive changes or do you let the past dictate your life? We really only have the now.  The past, is just that, the past.

“People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

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