Why is it that we humans keep revisiting the past? Why do we go there even when the destination is a painful one? Why do we tend to romanticize it so much and convince ourselves it was better than the present or the future, even when the evidence says clearly otherwise?
I have never been a person focused on the past or the present moment. I am mostly one step or fifty into the future. Yet in those rare moments I visit the past, I always find comfort there. No matter how joyful or painful I perceived the past event at the time, I find comfort in the certainty of it.
Unlike the uncertain future, the past is a known book. The future holds a potential yet to be manifested, the past holds the promise of a delivered one. And that is its source of power. It’s not about the good, bad, or truth of it, it’s about its perceived certainty. No matter how many times we rewrite it when we play out the events in our minds, we find comfort in its familiarity.
The greater the anxiety about the unknown that lies ahead, the stronger the past will feel.