People have often asked me if I would change my past and it is a question I have pondered quite a bit. The answer is always… no. I would not change any of the moments of my life, good or bad. The bad decisions I made that hurt others, including myself, have helped me grow as a person. In the process of growth I spread pain to those I care about by way of self-isolation and bad decision making, but I cannot wish to have done things differently because I wouldn’t be on this current path of enlightenment.
I have hurt and have been hurt in many ways that I wish not to discuss, that is for me to let go as I learn to forgive others and myself. The past year has been full of learning, being present and losing my mind. I had to fall apart in order to rebuild myself in peace. I have people I thank daily for the impact they have had in my healing. There are moments that cause me to stop and self-reflect and realize everything happens for a reason. Every. Single. Thing. Obstacles will always be there whether through your own mental turmoil or the actions of others, the fact of the matter is that growth of self happens when you learn to stop, reflect and give thanks instead of trying to control every outcome of our unpredictable life.
Give thanks even for the negative because they teach you to truly see and be thankful for the positive in your life. That sounds crazy, right? How can I be thankful for something that has caused me harm? Simple. I give thanks for the lesson learned and use it in my growth and/or to inspire others. Those who know my story know I battle daily with the feelings of being tainted, of being unlovable, unworthy, etc. but I have learned to view it from another perspective and give thanks for those moments that bring me low, I see how far I have come and realize I am worth so much more than I could imagine. To be able to see and feel the change inside is nothing short of a miracle. Life is not easy, everyone battles demons, it’s how we bounce back and prove to ourselves that we can persevere that keeps us moving forward.
I used to look back, take 2 steps forward and 4 back until I told myself that life is forward moving and I no longer live in the past. I had to forgive and let go. In the same vein looking forward can be a trap, it can lead you to not see the present moment; this is what I have been working on the past year. Living in the moment, stopping to give thanks, to enjoy the sun on my skin, the breeze in my hair, the changing of the leaves, the smell of lavender, and so much more. That’s when I realize I was living life wrong, I was being swept away by the future while living in the past. Confusing? Hell yes, it drove me insane, until I broke down from the back and forth of thoughts in my mind. I had to change my perspective and learn to forgive.
The person I needed to forgive was myself. When you forgive yourself a new door opens showing you a path of opportunities to move forward. At 38 years of age I am finding myself through self-love and it is beautiful and empowering. I’m no longer looking back, there’s nothing waiting for me there. I must continue to look forward and remind myself to look around at the moment I’m living. Surrounding myself with moments that bring peace, people who remind me to take a breath and live, not merely exist.