Reflecting on the Past to Prepare for the Future.

Sometimes in life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn your lessons. ~Brigitte Nicole

 

As painful as it is I reflect on the times when I trusted and was let down. Those times when I loved and it ended in breakups. Or when I empathized and was taken for granted. It is imperative to reflect. At some point in every memory that caused me pain, I found peace over time to forgive myself. It’s a liberating time when you can be honest with yourself. In time I was able to face myself and be raw. This is the moment when I was able to face what kept me in a place of defeat. Over and over again, I released it and made peace with it. In this process, I learned that forgiveness starts with me.

When I gave those pains power my beliefs were distorted. Trusting became something, in my opinion, only fools did. Everybody paid the price for one person’s ill-will. And I vowed to never love hard again. I even distance myself from having sympathy because no one gave me anything, I said. Or because I didn’t believe in something for myself, so I couldn’t see it for someone else. This kind of thinking only blocked my creativity and opportunities.

Have you ever held your [fill in the blank ] accountable for something that happened so long ago that you can’t even remember what it was they said or did? I can recall at least one occasion I have done this and said out loud, that I couldn’t remember what the person did but I don’t like them. Hilarious right?

Age has taught me that life is too short to hold on to the past especially to the point that it weighs you down. This kind of thinking does not propel you forward. The most brutal times normally are the ones that surface to teach us lessons.

Using the pain of my past, I am able to rise. I use my stories to increase my belief in self. There are many paths that I could have taken but instead, I choose a path where the good and the bad (eventually) propels me forward. In those moments when I want to give up, I remind myself of the times I’ve overcome. I remind myself of the times when I thought I had hit the bottom and an opportunity came. I consider all the times when I could have been mean-spirited but instead, I empathized. I remind myself that in time people including me will get back what they put out. I don’t need to do anything at all to speed up the process.

In the past when I considered being a writer I would fret about what to write. At the time I thought I didn’t have a story to tell. At least not in comparison to some stories I’ve read. My story had nothing on the child who grew up hungry and homeless. Or the guy that got in a gun fight. I was so wrong. We can all attest to going through something and it felt like a gun fight! Pain is a unique personal experience. Age once again gave me enough wisdom to know that my pain should not be compared to next person’s pain.

Writing has taken me on a journey where I continue to discover parts of my life that I had buried. The most precious of my discoveries were the scars that I suppressed over the years. I tucked them away until I was a stronger and wiser person.

And this is why I say that age is one of the best gifts that life has to offer. Age gave me the ability to change perspective. Knowing at some point that I had to get it together in order to begin living the life that seemed to elude me. I always wanted to be stronger, self-confidence, successful, and a champion. The trouble was finding out how to move from a place of defeat to one of victory. I couldn’t for a long time figure out “the how”.

REFLECT

Reflecting happens when I find myself in a situation similar or at the level of intensity as a past obstacle.

ACCEPTANCE

After I have resisted and wished that it was over I own my part in it.

MEDITATE.

Then I consider how I can solve the problem by separating what I can mend as oppose to what I cannot. Then I pray over those things I cannot and let them go.

PLAN.

I plan. And my plan consists of that past event(s) that I can pull wisdom from to move me forward.

PATIENCE.

This doesn’t mean that I reflected necessarily on a event that I got away with something it could be a situation that I failed at. Patience requires a change in perspective.

REAP.

There is a lesson in all obstacles. I remain open. Time has a way of using a lesson from years prior to give birth to a new ah-ha moment.

 

I want to encourage you to turn your past obstacles into teachable moments. Trust that in time the pain will decrease and you’ll be able to approach whatever mountain you face from a wiser point of view.

 

Be Great – W38

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