Learning From Our Past
Why are some people stuck – stuck in life at a place where they can go further but never do? I know people who are miserable in their lives but refuse to let go of that big, heavy burden they carry around with them called…the past. The reality is that we all have a past and it’s something we can’t get away from. I guarantee you that although we all have experienced the same emotions, love, pain, anger, joy, confusion and many others, everyone’s past is not the same. All of our experiences have all come at different times in our lives and we have reacted differently to each. I’m sure that all of you reading this would agree that we are who we are because of our past.
Our past has shaped us. And it’s okay. But painful experiences from the past should not make you surrender or lay down and die. It’s not okay to lock yourself up in a cell and be a prisoner of your painful past. That’s a mistake. A huge one because while you’re in that prison, life and all its beautiful opportunities are passing you by! We all have a past and we should always be learning from our past.
I was listening to Jim Rohn the other day and he said something that struck me. I never quite heard it put like this but he said that we should be learning from our past, that we should use our past as a mentor. Our past as a mentor! Powerful! The truth of the matter is that we could all use a mentor in our lives. Life is hard and so often we’re thrown a curve ball or we slip and slide. Sometimes we have to face trials and tribulations that we’re not prepared to deal with. But ready or not, we HAVE to deal with them. This is what life’s all about. A mentor could help guide us, advise us and be there to help us pick up the pieces if we should fall. And isn’t that what the past does? Think about it. There is so much to learn from your past.
The past is a wonderful mentor that can help put us on the path to opportunites and new beginnings if we only let it. Here are 4 ways:
- It helps us realize that in order for us to experience the treasures of life, we have to release what was and think about what is and what can be. Life is awesome and there are so many opportunities we can take advantage of that will enhance our lives and the lives of those we love.
- It guides us because we can usually tell which way we should go based on what happened before. We don’t want to walk down that road again and have another painful experience. The past helps us steer clear.
- It advises us because we learn from its experiences what we should do or should not do. We can actually have a rational conversation with ourselves about the pros and cons of a situation and make the right decision because of the past.
- It picks up the pieces by allowing us to reminisce about wonderful things that happened to us, good times we had with family and friends and moments of our most joyous times.
So why do some people let their painful past keep them prisoner? I think it’s because they have been hurt so deeply that they can’t let go. The painful situation or the person who administered the pain has caused them to “clock out” of life. Their dreams and ambitions have been put on a permanent hold. They’re miserable and feel worthless and in some cases blame themselves for what happened. They’ve experienced the ultimate hurt. But unfortunately they do not realize that pain is a part of life not the end of life. Pain is what makes you grow and develop. Yes, pain from the past is inevitable but the suffering? That’s optional.
Accept The Past And Move On Toward The Future
So, if you are not living to your full potential because of your past, it’s time to release the pain and release the past. Give yourself permission to move on with your life. Start asking questions about your feelings and the desires of your heart. Look around you and see the many wonderful things life has to offer. Be a part of the land of the living, have fun, engage in dialog with others, go places that you’ve always wanted to visit, be part of a book club, help a child, help a senior citizen, join a choir, volunteer at a hospital, teach someone how to read, write a book, write a blog, join a community organization, find a hobby, join a gym. The opportunities are endless. Little things make a difference so…go ahead and make a difference. It takes courage, but you can do it. When you use your past as a mentor, you will see how your life will transform in so many positive ways. Here’s to YOU!
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Your partner on the journey,
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Theresa Lovelace: Inspiring, Motivating and Coaching Business Builders.
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