Remember the story of Lot’s wife? She was being taken, along with her family, away from her town of Sodom, which was about to be destroyed. They were told not to look back, but Lot’s wife did look back at the burning city and was turned into a pillar of salt.

If I mention something about my childhood, particularly about my experiences at school, someone is likely to say, “That was a long time ago. Now you have a family, friends, life is good. Best to move on.”

But that’s precisely what I did for a long time. As soon as I left school, I put it all behind me and didn’t look back. The result of that was that I had nothing to say. When others talked about their childhoods, I kept quiet. If specifically asked, I’d mumble something short and feel left out.

Now, I think that was the wrong thing to do. Our past is a part of us. If we block it out, we lose part of our personalities, of ourselves. So now I try to talk about it. I try not to listen to the voice that says, “They don’t want to know. They think you’re dwelling on the past. They think you should move on.”

Guess what? I haven’t turned into a pillar of salt. I’ve become a bit more of a real person. Talking is hard, but it’s also rewarding. And there’s always the hope that by talking I can help others, because I believe that the things that happened to me didn’t need to happen and don’t need to happen to anyone.

What do you think? Is looking back good or bad?

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