Don't Bury Your Past, Build On It

Sunday, June 17, 2018

We all have it. Every human being has it. Many of us choose not to think about it, many choose to live in it- our past
Life is a collaboration of events, opportunities, and lessons measured on a timeline; every decision you've ever made affected your timeline. Some of those decisions landed you in the greatest possible outcome ever and you thank your lucky stars for that chance, some of those decisions make you want to crawl into a hole and go into hibernation (like, why on Earth did I waste so many years with that guy?!), but alas, they were learning experiences and made you who you are today. No struggle is too big or too small to get hung up on, we all have little nicks that hurt. 
The idea of the timeline is to move forward, and time spent idling over a smudge on your timeline means the gift of the present is also effected by that smudge. So not only did a mistake blemish your past, it's controlling your present, too! Double whammy. Ouch.
 But we're not down there, far down in the timeline, immersing in the past... we're up here! Hello! Right here. Hi:)
For the past several months, I've been going through slumps where I allow my past to dictate my present; mistakes that I made, paths I took, decisions I made, I've been going through the where would I be now if I did this differently? or who would I be today had I not chosen to do that? kind of questions. And, I don't know about you, but those what if questions are exhausting. I'm tired.
I have struggled to bury the past and to just forget about all my missteps and live in the now, but it's hard, I have to constantly remind myself that I'm perfectly imperfect and mistakes are a-okay and I am a human being. It's difficult to get out of those slumps and live completely in the present sometimes.
But today it happened, I found the way out for good, and I'll never turn back. 
I was in the Panera Bread parking lot this gorgeous and sunny Saturday afternoon. That's when it happened. An epiphany. My epiphany.
Today I realized-- instead of burying the past, build on it. It sounds so simple, but it was a profound idea, and for me-- life changing. 
Instead of shoving skeletons into the closet and trying to burn the place, instead of hiding mistakes and living in dishonesty, instead of drowning yourself in all the if only I could go back in time sorrows, use them. Take those skeletons, those mistakes, those hard times, those rocky roads... and build your foundation. Allow yourself to say: look at how far I've come! Look how high up the mountain I've gotten! Use those hard times as tools to realize how great you have it now, as stepping stones in tough lessons, as a starting place as you work your way to the top in living your best. Embrace your life. Embrace your mistakes. Embrace your achievements. Embrace moments that were sad, awkward, exhilarating, hard. Hold onto them and squeeze them and feel them, cry over them, laugh about them, feel the pain, feel the struggle, feel it all. 
And then release them. 
They are no longer your present. 
They are no longer who you are. 
You are not who you were 10 years ago, or even 5, or even last summer! You are in a constant motion of change, and you have the wheel. 
Don't let past failures get in the way of future success.
And remember, if an old ghost comes around reminding you of something you'd rather forget-- your past does not define you. Your past does not dictate your future. Your past is just a story now. Some tale about a person who isn't that person anymore. And above all, remember:

To err is human.
Be kind to yourself 

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