Past is past, nothing can change that. But we can use that to change our present. Most significantly I would point out the power of creative force, through which we can express even painful memories and experiences and then through the act of creation redefine them.
Using the past and even present this way, then all the experiences become unlimited source for creation, rather than suffering.
We can also learn a lot from the past. For these few days I’ve been struggling quite a bit with the long distance relationship and I’ve been losing my focus. So therefore, I decide to revisit some of my old journals to find some better coping strategies. And from the last year, around the same time we were last time separated for a longer while, I did find something helpful: poems. The actual poems from last year already made my heart warmup, however also the brilliant thought that I should use now this opportunity as well to create some new ones, the pain of the separation is the best creative source after all.
Of course past journals contain a lot of unforgotten wisdom as well. Our mind has tendency to forget that which we do not not use, which means most of it. This way the journals also become a sort of filtering system for useful information. The more often some thoguhts are mentioned in a journal, the more likely it is that the thought has been useful.
Do not be defined by your past, but use the past experiences to define your present in a way that serves you better.