Writing as a regulator

Writing has always been a catharsis for me – for as long as I can remember knowing how to write. It’s funny, then, how the times of my life I could most use that catharsis, the written word fails me (the spoken word RARELY fails me, LOL)

It’s been a long time since my last post. Oddly, I was thinking that earlier this week and was reminded of that by two friends later in the week…if that’s not motivation, then it’s not possible to motivate me!

When it’s been this long, though – the struggle is where to start…catching up on my life would take more time and space than there is internet. I could write something pithy about current events – and I might yet – but I really do TRY not to alienate my friends. Doesn’t always work…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the past. Not MY past, specifically, more about how our past influences us. There are so many cliches about “leaving the past behind us”, “stop dwelling on the past”, “forget the past”, etc. and I’m not doubting the very wise counsel those sentiments convey.


Our past informs us. It must – we have to use it as a filter to make choices in life. If we forget the past – or leave it ENTIRELY behind – then we’ve taken no lesson away from the experience. Good and bad – we bring those lessons with us.

I had an epiphany earlier this week…The cautions to leave the past behind are almost exclusively applied to the negative past. And that makes sense. Yet, if we start leaving pieces of history out – who’s to say, really, what is positive and what negative? After all, the negative experience becomes a positive if it teaches you how to avoid similar circumstances in the future or if we can use that negative experience to connect with someone else.

We can’t start forgetting the negative without the risk of forgetting the positive…soon, there would be nothing left…

As a storyteller, that thought almost paralyzes me. Our lives are just series of stories. Some good, some bad, some fantastic, others just days passing – but they’re stories. We’re given the experience for a reason and, for people like me, we feel it is our job to SHARE that knowledge. Maybe to teach, maybe to learn, maybe to vent, maybe to change, or maybe so someone else knows they are not alone.

My close friends know virtually whatever happens or what topic arises, I’ll have a story. I know it gets on their nerves sometimes. But sometimes, I make them laugh. Sometimes, I make them cry. Sometimes, I give them a glimpse into my soul. And, always, if I’ve done it right, I leave them feeling better than I found them.

Without ALL of my past, my stories would not be as effective. Stories with happy endings often have very rough openings…can’t have the end without the beginning.

So – don’t forget the past. Don’t even forget the bad. Figure out a way to let all of that history inform your present but not control it. That’s where I am getting into trouble…I’m having trouble finding that balance. If I forget, I rush headlong into the situation and slam into the brick wall I should have known was there. If I don’t forget, I spend so much time “feeling” for the brick wall because I’m scared, I forget to LIVE the experience. I guess part of living life is figuring out how to put the regulator on the flow of history into the present…

Adjusting that regulator for my life…I guess that’s why I write. It’s time to adjust the flow, so here I am!!!!