I’ve learned over a period of time that it’s not bad to look back and judge how far I’ve come, but it is total foolishness to dwell there, do an autopsy on it and beat it (and myself) like a dead horse. The past cannot and should not be changed for me. It was all necessary for me to be able to see the contrast between what I wanted and what I was doing, how I was living.
In a rare Kleenex moment, someone very wise told me that I was mistaken in my belief that I had been betrayed, or abandoned by someone I loved like family. He said very simply that the person was merely showing me who he was and that I should be grateful for the learning of it.
Huh. I really had to think about that one.
I began to accept that any relationships or experiences are a sorting and sifting of what I want in my life and what I don’t. Who I am and am not. What I do and don’t welcome to me now and in the future.
Deceptions, downfalls and disappointments create the evolution of me.
Even (especially?) if I’m the creator of any of these. Have you ever done that to yourself? Explained away poor behavior in yourself or someone else? Accepted it, excused it, perpetuated it? Well, honey, I sure have.
There are a few ways to handle knowing these things. We can do some biblical grieving, go through the whole sackcloth and ashes thing and rend our garments, but the end result is exhaustion, drama and plain old irritation. Not much good comes from it.
But if we just stop and look at the difference in where we stand and where we want to, we end up seeing clearly what we don’t want in our lives and what we do. We can be grateful for the clarity of where we are and what’s ahead of us. We can focus on what we have, who we are and where we’re going that makes us happy.
I believe that when we live the progress of who we are becoming, our genuine alignment with who we are in the heart of us, the “five people we hang around the most” will either elevate or bounce off and away from us. I don’t worry about that anymore, it’s a natural occurrence.
People let us down when we let ourselves down.
When we don’t listen to our intuition, when we don’t set standards for ourselves, when we allow ourselves to remain with people or in situations that are not healthy at all for us. We know when we’re setting ourselves up and we do it anyway with a faint and feeble hope that we’re wrong.
How is that anyone else’s error but our own?
All of us are at different places along the way in life. There has to be some grace granted for that. We aren’t responsible for any path but our own. We get to decide only our own way, our own progress, our own actions. Each of us holds only our own power.
In my thinking of this “dwelling in the past” and remembering the story of Lot’s wife (which I always thought was a bit of overkill) I found that the Hebrew for “looked back” means “to more than glance over one’s shoulder.” It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to”. She was unwilling to leave her old life. The raining sulphur destroying where she had been destroyed her also.
I suggest instead we be the “salt of the earth: a person of great worth”.
Because we are.