Every day we all have the opportunity for a brand-new start. That is nice. Everyone likes a fresh beginning. It is nice to have a new week every seven days. It is refreshing to start a new month every thirty days or so. I also find that there is nothing better than wiping the slate clean and starting fresh with a brand-new year. We have all had that experience many, many times!
Over the years I have heard people say that whatever has happened in the past just needs to be forgiven and forgotten. There is even a TV commercial that says, “What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas.” The inference, of course, is that whatever happens in a place does not need to follow you around the rest of your life. However, have you ever stopped to think about the validity of that statement? I find that the past is actually a very important time in my life. Your past is meant to be a friend.
In the past, I have made mistakes and learned from them. In the past I have failed and learned from my failures. In the past I have made unwise choices, and from those unwise choices, I have become a wiser person and learned how to make better choices. The past is a vital part of your life. As a matter of fact, everything that has happened in your past has helped you become the person you are today.
Zig used to say, “You are who you are and what you are because of what has gone into your mind. If you want to change who you and what you are start putting new things in your mind. You have to start somewhere, and your past is a good place to start.
In 1956 Earl Nightingale taught us in his monumental book The Strangest Secret that only a human has the “godlike” capacity to change their future simply by the way they think. Your past has taught you much. Make peace with your past and let it guide you!
I often tell parents that the best prayer they can pray for their children is, “Dear Lord, please allow my child to go through whatever is necessary in order for them to turn out well in the end.” That is a difficult prayer to pray and a dangerous one, but I think it is a good prayer. I know that all four of my daughters are very special individuals. They have had their ups and downs like everyone else. But all the things they have gone through have brought them to the place they are today. Although I wish I could have spared them some of the heartaches and challenges they have faced, (and some of them I caused), those very heartaches and challenges are what influenced them to become the beautiful, strong, influential women they have become today.
Consider this: If you could have a perfect life with no problems and no challenges, what good would you be? Who would you be able to help? To whom could you relate? There would be so few people that you could ever help. Probably none. I have found that those who have gone through some troubled waters and some deep, dark times in their lives, are the very ones who can help, encourage, and motivate others best.
I do not believe we should live in the past, nor do I believe we should be stuck in things that happened to us a long time ago. Everyone has gotten the “short end of the stick” at one time or another. We could all whine, moan, and groan about something bad that happened to us a long time ago. We could get stuck in a rut and be bitter for the rest of our lives over some unfortunate circumstance or some unfair situation that came our way. It is so much better to realize that the very circumstances we faced growing up were “teachers” in disguise. They helped us grow through those difficult experiences so we could better face the future, as well as training us to encourage others through the experiences that they surely will encounter.
I think it is helpful to not forget the past. We do not have to live in it, but we certainly can learn from it. Your past is your friend. It was designed to help you to know what you did right and what you did wrong. The good things in life that you receive today are a direct result of the things that have happened in your past.
In time, this day, this week, and this year will come to an end. Plant good seeds in your life day by day. Make wise decisions and learn from your past so you can create a better future. I have heard so many people say that you need to forget your past and move on with life. Let me encourage you to revisit that thought and rather than forgetting your past, remember it and learn from it. Your past is a friend that will always be with you to help guide you if you will simply let it. Believe that this week.
Tip: Your past matters!
Reprinted with permission from the "Tip of the Week".
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