The Spirit of the Past

The past is like a spirit that haunts us forever. Like Ben Okri describes in his “The Famished Road”, the past is like a spirit that ‘will make your life unbearable.’ This spirit continuously attempts to pull you back, not letting you live because of the ‘unbearable’ reminder of what occurred. The ‘unbearable’ reminder that the past cannot be changed.

Science shows that for the first few days after their birth, new born babies have blurred vision. Although, their vision develops as they grow older, it is questionable as to whether it is actually developing or whether it remains as blurred as it began. Referring once again to Ben Okri’s novel, one can say that humans are ‘born blind, few of whom ever learn to see.’

We begin with a blurred vision, begin to see things – some right, some wrong. We build our character by learning from, imitating or being influenced by the people around us, the media, social institutions and our own moral belief system.

This shows that everyone has the capacity to become who they want to be. Internalizing the things that we perceive to be ‘perfection’ and continuously strive to become our definition of ‘perfect.’ Those gaps that remain within us are filled by the desire to become what others want from us – what our partner wants from us. Therefore, we are a construction of many external forces, striving to be what we want to be as well as what others want us to be. Even Lady Gaga’s non-conformist behaviour and fashion style has become iconic and now imitated. We choose to compromise or change part of our personalities for the social, for what others want because we want to be accepted and loved.

The growing nature of ones self can easily go off course. Within the entangled web of life comes many side roads which take you off course. The trick is to turn on your headlights, move slowly down the side road and back on to the main road. Life hurls many different paths and routes our way. No matter what route we take, it is never wrong. It is just a guide which tells us the right path again. It gives us the ability to remember not to take that route again. We have the new knowledge to be able to change the route of our Sat Nav so that a simpler road lies ahead.

Sometimes it is easier said than done. Sometimes it feels like you are doing everything right but external forces are unjust. The solution is to remain strong and acknowledge that even if you are not accepted by some, this does not mean you are wrong. It may not mean that the other person is wrong either. It means that you have the chance to learn how to compromise and understand. You have the chance to put yourself in someones else’s shoes from a moment and learn the art of reason.

If you feel that a situation you have been dealt is unjust, then remain true to yourself. To make the world a better place, change your self and make yourself the best. Change only for yourself, because what someone may dislike about you, someone else may love. Anyone can judge others, but to judge yourself is to rise above criticism and self doubt to a place of acceptance and contentment.

So never let past spirits dictate who you are. Never let the future be hindered by people who purposely enter the wrong address in to your Sat Nav. Take hold of the steering wheel and control your own destiny. Accept your past; rejoice with the gift of the present and smile in to your future, because it is a vision and a dream that you have created.

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