So it's unquestionably useful and often necessary to go rooting around in the past, but the trick is to do it with limits and purpose and to not get stuck there. Sometimes, rather than processing old pain, we are searching for information, or looking for answers to long standing questions. And sometimes, that which we seek is readily available. And sometimes not. But focusing too much of our energy on the past can be a potentially dangerous proposition. Hunting for self-pity and excuses can become addictive, and serves as a present day responsibility cop-out. We all too easily experience ourselves as victims of the past.
All of our real answers, all hope for happiness and all fulfillment and joy is right here and right now, in the present moment. Going back in any way, either wistfully, or with an invesigative air, cannot fundamentally satisfy our needs and longings, no matter what. Only the present day can do that. And too much of the past makes us sick and musty. As it crops up, we have to let it go and let it be, and return to the experience of this day and this time.
I watch out for the past and the future, both of which can grab me and hold me captive. I stay where I am and appreciate the now.