The past is just that...
You are living with the ramifications of your mistakes. You are living with the result of your failures. You are living with the rippling memories born from regret. You are living. Know that the last sentence trumps the first three. I'm not waxing poetic… You are living. You are alive. You are still here… So how do I know about the mistakes, failures and regret? I know because we are the same. We are bound by flesh, oxygen, body and soul. Tied by a blood oath that we have no memory of making and yet you know a fellow human when you see one. I know your humanity and when I look in the mirror of my life that hangs behind my eyelids I know mine. My reflection stares me down for better at times but often for worse. It whispers nagging reminders of my past and writes fiction about the people around me. It creates stories about how much better they have it. At once convinced that I am walled off from the rich, juicy, connected lives "they" have. They aren't lonely. They have satisfying relationships. They have meaningful work. They _____________________ but I ____________________. For some of you this litany is constant and has spun into depression. For others these thoughts represent an occasional slump. Whichever camp you fall into it isn't fun, and these feelings can really suck the joy out of life.
I'd like to invite you to shift.
- As it relates to others, you just can't really know anyone's inner world but your own. What's more is you would be shocked beyond words if you did. Seriously…
- Realize that this isn't how God wants us to live and He's able to reach into places we can't. Ask Him to.
- Write yourself a love letter. As crazy as it may sound, being intentional about countering self deprecating thoughts is so helpful. In your letter also highlight hopes and dreams for the future and revisit it from time to time.
- As Steven Pressfield says "Put your butt whereyour heart wants to be". If in your heart you want to paint, sit at an easel and paint. Until you actually put your butt where your heart wants to be it will beat in vain.
- Get sneaky. Search the landscape for others who need a boost and find sneaky ways to encourage them or meet a need. Fill the parking meter to max time before you drive off. Go the local art school and tell them you want to pay for art lessons for someone who can't afford them. Visit a nursing home and listen to the wonderful stories that the elderly have to share. Its really time to stop obsessing about what you don't have and to start learning about what you have to give.
You can't erase your past but you can make peace with it.
You can't erase your past but you can learn from it.
You can't erase your past but you can find redemption.
You can't erase your past but you can decide today to stop allowing your past to erase your future.
Curious about life coaching? Call 978.994.0431 or email ThatLifeNow@gmail.com to set up a confidential, free, sample session with Jim Trick today!