Posts tagged ‘history’

October 25, 2013

Into the great wide open (of your future!)

Have you ever made a decision about what to do or how to act based on what happened during a similar instance in your past? If you got hurt years ago, do you now avoid similar situations for fear of getting hurt again? If you failed (or succeeded) once, do you expect the same results the next time you try? Or do you simply stop trying, because doing so seems easier (and safer) than taking a risk and putting yourself out there?

We’ve all entertained these kinds of thoughts. But guess what? They’re not helping us.

The past is the past, and history rarely repeats itself. If you got hurt once, that’s fine. But you are a strong, capable person, and you don’t follow any patterns. With new acquaintances, the passing of time and your own personal growth factored in, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience the same result twice.

As for fear of failure, hardly anyone succeeds at anything the first time they try. The successful person is the one who tries anyway, again and again — and willingly makes mistakes — because what they’re doing is something they love, and they want to learn, or grow, or laugh, or challenge themselves in some way.

It’s time to rid yourself of the belief that your past defines your future. Your old experiences may have shaped the person you are today, but they have absolutely no bearing on where you go from here — unless you like the idea of moving through life wearing blinders that rob you of all the wonderful experiences and opportunities waiting for you in your peripheral vision.

In the end, nothing defines your future better than you do. Toss aside those old limiting perspectives — those blinders — and watch your path open up before you.

In the words of late author and motivational speaker Keith D. Harrell:

What has happened is not nearly as important as what can happen. Look to the possibilities of your future for direction, forsaking the burdensome limitations of your past.

Your future really is wide open. All that remains is for you to see that.  ♥

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April 10, 2013

Redefining beauty

This quote from Barbara Bloom brings new perspective to the trials and tribulations we all weather in our lives:

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.

You are beautiful, cracks and all.  Believe it.  ❤

April 3, 2013

I am not what I once thought was mine

I like this passage from Susannah Conway’s book This I Know: Notes on Unravelling the Heart:

We could all spend a lifetime unravelling the knots of our childhood, but at some point you realize the knots are no longer yours. They belong to your parents, and their parents before them. The legacy is long and complicated, the damage passed on through generations, until one day someone finally stops and says: This story does not belong to me. 

So many of us blame our troubles and our limitations on our childhoods — on how we were raised; on how we were perceived or treated as children; on the messages we received or didn’t receive in our formative years; on unmet expectations, emotional disappointments, missing pieces and unfulfilled hopes.

But do these stories really apply to the people we are today — to the experiences we have had in our adult years? Many of us have grown beyond the bounds of these old narratives, yet we continue to cling to them, to let them drag us backwards in our vulnerable moments.

What if we were to let them all go? To say to ourselves, “This is a story, yes, but it is not my story. It does not speak about the person I am today. I am more than that. I have travelled beyond the reaches of that tale.” Would our associated troubles lessen? Would our perceived limitations fade away?

Writes Conway:

The past is just the soil we grew up in, a blueprint we can redraft if we look at it from another perspective. What if we retell our stories, and in the retelling the new tale becomes the truth?

A truth in which we are not a victim, not small, not forsaken. A truth in which there is space inside us for love, compassion, forgiveness and empathy — for ourselves and for the people in our lives.

What if, indeed.

March 24, 2013

Love the shadow to love the light

A bit of wisdom from my bag of Yogi Tea:

Love what is ahead by loving what has come before.

To me, this quote suggests that a key to living with contentment — both now and in the future — is the ability to acknowledge and accept all that has happened to you in the past — both the good moments and the bad ones.  “Love what has come before,” even if what has come before is nasty or painful or seems impossible to love.

If your past is anything like mine, it’s no rose garden.  Granted, there have been wonderful moments — plenty of them — but I’ve also experienced difficult and tumultuous times, stormy times filled with hurt and loss, times that have tripped me up, beaten me down and left a few scars to prove it.

Yet if I can learn to love those dark moments as much as I do the light — if I can make peace with them instead of trying to erase them from memory; if I can resolve past hurts and injustices inside myself and then let them go; if I can acknowledge and accept every bit of my past as a vital and worthy part of the person I am now — then I can enter my future with a free and open heart.  I can walk forward unburdened, alive to what is happening around me.  And I can welcome what will come with grace and compassion.

I’m willing to give it a try.  You?

November 2, 2012

Children. . . . The future of our past

My children are the future of my past.

These words come from Alyce Johnson, a professor of First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia and a member of the Kluane First Nation in Yukon.  She shared them yesterday as she led a group of six women on a “trail talk” along the trails of Forests for the World, a park and demonstration forest in Prince George, B.C.

Alyce spoke to our small group, of which I was a member, about how trails — whether “natural” or “man-made” — carry knowledge of people, landscapes and traditions, and help define languages, narratives and, ultimately, world views.

To me, Alyce’s words drive home the importance of immersing our children in the stories, protocols and traditions of our families, our people, our communities, our earth.  The past (and our cultural histories) cannot be integrated into the future unless carried there by our young ones.  We must therefore equip our children well for the task.

I also love this beautiful quote from a handout Alyce provided during the walk:

I am a map of a storied world expressed from a language that the earth remembers and a people speak.

The Earth remembers, a people speak, and we are one.

(The “Trail Talk” I attended was one of a series organized by the University of Northern British Columbia’s Northern Research Group.)