Is Your Past Beating Up Your Future?
Does your Past interfere with your Present and your Plans for the Future? Knock it off!
I spoke at an event for abused kids. Most of them were pre-teens, and most had been through some therapy after being lifted out of a bad situation. One girl was stoic. She didn’t react to anything and didn’t show any emotion for the first hour.
At one point, I surprised myself and blurted, “Look. That bad person may have stolen your past. Don’t let him steal today and for sure don’t let him steal all your tomorrows.”
That was the bolt of lightning this girl needed. She let out a shriek and slumped in her chair sobbing. I was new to speaking and didn’t know what to do. As I helplessly moved towards her to comfort her, one of the therapists signaled she would step in. Another woman came up and hugged me with tears in her eyes, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. We haven’t been able to get through to her since she came to us over a year ago. Her abuse started very young.”
I learned more from that little girl and that moment of inspiration than I have in all my decades on stage. That sentence wasn’t in my speech, and until I arrived, I wasn’t sure what the message was supposed to be. I had written a rather weak, “We are here for you…” type speech, but wasn’t prepared for the emotional wreckage I would encounter. I believe that statement was dropped into my brain at exactly the right moment, and I know that little girl needed to hear that message.
Don’t let mistakes and bad situations from your past steal your Today and all your Tomorrows.
This is a lesson for all of us, no matter our circumstances. Don’t let mistakes and bad situations from the past steal your Today and all your Tomorrows. Too many of us drag around bags full of knives from our ancient hurts. When we decide to wallow in self-pity, we pull out some knives and stab ourselves in the heart again and again. Or, we’ll call up a few friends and talk to them at great length about those knives we are using to destroy a perfectly lovely afternoon.
Stop. Put the knives away. Put down the heavy blanket of the past. Realize the only things you need to carry forward are the lessons and the blessings. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you made. Make amends if you can. If you can’t, silently forgive the other person who caused you harm. (Yes, you can do that! Read this…) You learned something, you got wiser, you don’t make the same mistakes now (hopefully!) and you are a better – or more compassionate – or less naive – person for having gone through it.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep paying attention to your blessings TODAY. Keep learning and keep forgiving yourself and others. It’s the only way to stay sane!
Have a wonderful April.
And thanks to all my readers and clients who sent me birthday wishes! It was a grand day! Life is good!
Take care of yourself, we need you!
PS – Don’t forget to read my article in Metiza Magazine for teenage girls – Choose Love
© 2016 Beth Terry • All Rights Reserved