We see our present experiences through the blurry filter of our past experiences. Time and time again, we allow our past to pop up and block our present. But our previous experiences don’t have to preclude what we want to do in the present. We don’t have to be stuck in our story.
“…affirming our existence requires affirming the past that led to it.” ~ Todd May
I’ve noticed that when I am being myself, fully and completely (which means I’m probably laughing), that I attract those who can recognize and appreciate the authentic me. So when I’m attracting inauthenticity or experiences I don’t want, I have to ask myself…”Who am I being?”
“The life you live is a reflection of what’s going on inside of you.” Oprah Winfrey
Every anxious thought we have about what might happen, every moment we spend replaying and regretting an action we took or something we didn’t say…every time we give into anger over something done to us that we perceive as negative, we stray away from the precious present.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34, NIV
In my early 30s, I experienced some major disruptions in my life. I left an abusive marriage and took my toddler out of the country to a new assignment in England, courtesy of Uncle Sam. And then DESERT STORM happened.
At first it, was difficult to get my footing. I had to find a place on the economy that wasn’t looking for a man to guarantee the rent. I beat myself up for thinking my daughter would easily transition to a big-girl bed. Why didn’t I bring the crib? I worried about deploying; should I send my 3-year-old to the States? I wondered if I could juggle all the demands…
But we survived. In fact, we didn’t just survive, we thrived! And I learned some things about myself…
“If I have to, I can do anything I am strong I am invincible I am woman…” Helen Reddy, I Am Woman
“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” ~ Philippians 4:13, MSG
At church this weekend, it was all about seeds and growing, reaping and sowing. Even during story hour for the young and young at heart, the pastor shared a fable about seeds that face obstacles to their growth.
In the story, some of the seeds decide to postpone any attempts to grow until the obstacles disappear (they don’t). But one determined seed decides to face possible destruction and fulfill its purpose to become a palm tree with an extraordinarily strong trunk.
“What do you think happened?” the pastor asked the assembled 6, 7 and 8-year olds.
And one brave young soul answered correctly, “The obstacles made the tree grow stronger.”
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.
When I forgive, I free others and myself from past behavior, mistakes and regret. I’ve found that forgiving benefits all aspects of my life… from my relationships, and my health to my ability to focus energy on what I’m here to do.
Forgiveness removes hurt and resentment and allows me to see clearly to a much brighter future.
“When you forgive you don’t change the past, you change the future.” Rev. Mark Anthony Lord
I’m a fitness instructor with bad knees. My clients are often surprised to see me taking an elevator instead of the stairs after a class. I don’t take the stairs because walking up and especially down stairs puts a lot of strain on my knees. I save my knees for demonstrating the best form when I’m teaching and being in the best form when I’m taking class.
My knees let me know when I’ve gone too far. My knees are the reason I challenge my clients to push themselves to THEIR limit versus what I might think they can do. Because each client is the only one who really knows if they’re pushing to their limit, challenging what’s comfortable and living up to their potential.
In life as in fitness, you are the only one who knows if you’re giving it your best shot or just coasting. And you’re the only one you have to please.
“The journey to wholeness requires that you look honestly, openly, and with courage into yourself, into the dynamics that lie behind what you feel, what you perceive, what you value, and how you act.” ~ Gary Zukav