By Jim Koury, Editor/Publisher, Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
”Never forget where you come from but strive for a place you have never been.” — Nishan Panwar
How many times have we heard people lament their past and wish they could blot it out of their memories forever. I know I have done it. I look back and just cringe at some of the things I did!
The nice thing about life is that we can decide to not dwell on the past and live in the moment and move on to bigger and better things. The past is past; we cannot change it no matter how hard we try.
On the flip side, however, while we may not be able to change our past, do we really want to forget it? Our past is part of us and it has gotten us to the point we are currently at. Instead of lamenting our past we need to embrace it and look for lessons we have learned that we can carry forward to the future in order to arrive at places we have never been. For some embracing their past is a very difficult thing to do.
Before moving on, it’s important that I clarify an important point in terms of embracing the past and living in it. Embracing it versus living in it are two very distinct things.
When we embrace our past we are accepting it as part of us and are willing to learn important life lessons that can be utilized for many years to come. Embracing our past is a healthy part of our growth process, as it is grounded in optimism and hope that we can use past knowledge to not make the same mistakes.
Living in the past is simply a form of self-pity in that focus is on our mistakes and wishing we had done some things differently. There is always second guessing about our decisions and contemplation over what our current conditions would be like if we hadn’t done certain things. Clearly living in the past is not a healthy condition, as it is grounded in regrets, remorse and not looking forward to what can be. There is a failure to realize that tomorrow is a new day and that a new beginning is always possible.
How do we embrace our past? What purpose does it serve to try to understand where we were and to analyze decisions made to learn lessons for future benefit? Embracing one’s past is a two-fold experience. Not only does it help us understand ourselves, it also allows us to help others since we have wisdom and understanding of situations that others may be experiencing.
Our lives are in perpetual motion. We are always moving toward a better state of being both personally, financially and otherwise. Many, myself included, are on a path toward enlightenment; a better understanding of who we are and what makes us tick as people. Embracing one’s past allows us to understand the things we need to change in order to progress forward toward that desired enlightened condition.
As we evolve into the people we are meant to be, we become more of an “open book” where we are so comfortable with ourselves, that we can begin to freely discuss our experiences without a filter of shame and guilt. We understand that by being so open, it helps those experiencing the same things we did make sense of their lives and facilitate answers to their questions about their own self-worth.
By embracing our past, we bring forward that which we like and are assets to achieve what we need to achieve. By doing so, we are healthier individuals with a lesser degree of stress since we understand the past cannot be changed and that it is part of us until the day we die.
So many people deny their past and do not come to terms with it and embrace it as part of them and their undeniable essence. Those people tend to be much more tense, stressed out and just not all that pleasant to hang around. Which one do you choose to be?
Living in the past will ultimately destroy any chance of self-improvement and advancement to a more perfect state of being. Having regrets over decisions made in the past become an obsession and prevent one from thinking clearly about their future. It is much worse to arrive at the end of our lives realizing that we had focused on our regrets so much that it prevented us from becoming who we were meant to be. When that realization comes at that point in your life, it will be too late. Don’t let that happen!
Embrace your past but stop living in it! Take what you can use and leave behind what you cannot. Make a decision today to start a new day grounded in optimism and hope, and not one premised on regret, remorse and fear of the future.
3 thoughts on “Embrace Your Past”
Spot on Jim! As an out gay social worker, I often invite folks to ponder "what we resist, persists!'
Great article! Rock on!
Thank you, definitely needs to be heard far and wide!
Thanks you Soul Dancer and David. Feel free to spread the message around!