Be Gracious For Who You’ve Become
I saw a post today that made me stop and think about my life. “If you could go back in time, where would you be today?”
I have a quote I live by:
“You cannot change the past. You can only change the way you allow the past to affect your present and your future.” ~ © 1989 Springwolf 🐾 ~
Your past created the person you are today. If you went back in time and changed one small thing, think about the big things that might be affected or lost in your life now. Are you sure you could live with those changes?
The “bad” things in my past, make me a better counselor for rape and abuse victims in crisis today. I’ve been told by some of those clients that had my personal experiences not been part of the conversation, they would not be here today, fighting to overcome and heal. It’s a humbling compliment, to be honest. Having someone tell you that had you not been raped and beaten up to understand what they are experiencing first hand, can really put a spin on your own past experiences. Could you give up making a difference in someone else’s life because they finally found someone who understands how they feel?
It reminds me of the day my Mom came home from her doctor with my Dad. She learned that the near decade of pain and struggle she had been through really wasn’t in her head. It actually had a real name, a disease that could be treated now that it had finally been identified. The overwhelming affect that had on my Mom and how my Dad related and responded to her was significantly different from that day on. There was relief, acceptance, and understanding that hadn’t been there before. From both my Mom and my Dad who finally began to show compassion and patience with her when she had her bad days.
My husband said one day, he wishes he could go back in time and meet me 20 years earlier when we were younger. In his view, we wasted so much time struggling and settling for 2nd or 3rd best, when we could have been together from the beginning. But if he really could go back, he wouldn’t have his oldest son today. And of course, that’s someone he doesn’t want to lose in his life. Could you live without one of your children to make things different?
My nephew would like to go back and spend more time with my dad. But my dad was in a lot of pain in the later years of his life. Would going back cause more suffering to satisfy your need to be with someone you lost? Could you make a difference in helping someone stay here in a physical sense and prolong their suffering so you could be with them for more time?
Would you go back? Would you have the knowledge to appreciate those moments in time that you wish you paid more attention to then? Are you sure going back would make things better today? Or would you simply be trading one group of lessons for another group that might be harder or more tragic?
Each one of us has had our ups and downs through out our lives. Some have been more tragic than others. Some have struggled more than others. But without a higher perspective to understand the greater impact of those events on a spiritual level, going back and changing things could make things worse than we think they might be. We forget how our choices open new doors, close old doors and bring lessons to our path in the here and now. We don’t see how the issues we face today are rewards, or karmic resolutions to things we selected to do in the past, and not in this past; but the past incarnation, or the one before that.
Looking back keeps you from seeing the now, and being appreciative of those you have around you today. Those who might cross your path tomorrow, and the beauty you can share in the next moment, or the next day, or the next week. If all you see is what you’ve lost; you need to look with better eyes at what you’ve gained and achieved.
Let go of the regrets, what ifs and shoulda, woulda, coulda. As much as we’d love to take a ride with the Doctor, we don’t have a Tardis. And even if we did, would you really want to lose what you’ve accomplished so far, the people you’ve met who mean the most to you, or the experiences that have brought passion into your life?
Be in the now, in this moment, at this time. Be mindful of how you think today, what you draw to you and how you share your compassion, appreciation and love for the now. Imagine understanding what’s behind “everything happens for a reason, in its right time and place”. No doubts, no reason to be concerned, no reason to fear what’s around the next bend. Having no regrets because in the here and now, you took time to appreciate those you are with, to make a difference in your own life and in each moment you’re present in your thoughts.
In taking time to be Mindful, you won’t feel a desire to go back, to return to the old and what’s back in the past. It’s appreciating your past, what it taught you, how it molded you and where it has brought you today. It gives you the time to accept who you are and who you have become. To believe in yourself and change the things you don’t like, by using the strengths of the things you do like.
You really can’t go back and change the past. But you can change how you allow it to affect you today. Make a difference in your life and appreciate the past and the opportunities it has brought you to grow and learn for the better.
© 2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.