Wouldn't life be simpler if we just moved forward...if we didn't have to deal with our past...if we weren't questioning the choices we let go of or made instead...if we weren't looking at our past with a general sense that we could have / should have / would have done it better? A life where we are free of looking back and building an alternate life in our minds...
I often revisit the younger me of various phases of my past - some more than others. It's more than just reminiscing...it's actually part-judging my present - based on evaluation of decisions taken, choices made, my ability (or inability) at that time, my understanding (or lack of it) of life and ways of the world. Occasionally, I even partake in building alternate life scenarios...basing this on things I could have done, but didn't...feeling - if only I knew better...if only I had balls to take hard decisions...if only I understood things then that I understand now...if only...!
At every such instance, challenge for me has been to separate thoughts that bring me down from the ones that push me forward. I understood that though evaluating past is important, but creating alternative life scenarios isn't. The fact that I started building alternate scenarios meant I wanted to paint a picture better than what I have today. This could never push me forward.
What constantly pushes me forward is short and simple: I see that I took my own decisions...I see that I had it in me to face flak for poor decisions...I see the confidence people around me had in me...I understand why I act / react in a particular manner...all in all, looking at my past makes me more in control of me in today's life.
Having said this, I still get bouts of self doubt when, in hindsight, I believe I could have / should have / would have done it better...that's the evil part of hindsight. I call it necessary because hindsight is all I have to understand the person I am...what defines me today.
The popular saying - "hindsight is 20/20", isn't incorrect. If we wish, we can see things with absolute clarity in hindsight - thus realising our mistakes & our strengths. It is up to us to choose whether to make use of clarity that hindsight offers or get bogged down by it.
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