I pray that you are doing well and are ready to finish the week on a high note. Today I want to share with you the importance of not living your life looking backward. Ask yourself this question, what do I really want in life? You could say a lot of different things but ultimately we all want the same thing. We want to be happy. Ladies, please understand that you have control of yourself, and you can make your life what you want it to be but only if you look forward and not backward.
What does it mean to look forward, not backward?
Looking backward means an inability to let go. You struggle to move forward from your past relationships, past mistakes, past choices, or even past health. We all have something in the past that is hard for us to let go of. But when you look back it is never anything pleasurable but often full of pain, regret, and sadness. However, looking forward means putting the past behind you and focusing on the exciting things ahead. It means having hope that what is ahead of you is better than what is behind you. What is beautiful about it is that you have the God-given ability to give your attention to your future, not your past. It’s your choice.
Why is it important?
The reason it is important is because you cannot change the past, but you can change the future. No matter how much you reminisce, you can’t change it. Reliving conversations won’t change what you said, losing sleep over past choices won’t allow you to go back in time to make different ones; reliving past mistakes you can’t undo.
As much as many of us would like to change something about our past (I know there are some things I’d like to change about mine), it simply isn’t possible. You have heard it said, “If I knew then what I know now I would change some things”. There is something you can change…the future. Consequently, you have an amazing amount of control over how your future turns out. The choices you make today, the conversations you have today, the actions you take today, those are the things that can and will shape your future. If you think about it, the past can help guide your future. What I mean is you can learn from your past mistakes, so you don’t repeat them in the future. That is one good thing about remembering your past.
Another important reason to not live in your past is you will miss out on current and future opportunities if you are always looking back. Opportunity lies ahead of you, not behind you. Opportunity lives in the future—it’s a possibility, a chance. And if you’re too focused on what lies behind you, you’ll miss out on those chances that are ahead of you.
It’s easy to live in the past because you already know the situation and the outcome. However, the future is unknown. It can be scary to have to face those unknown opportunities, even if you know in part that the risk would be good for you.
But your life isn’t about trying to control the status quo. Your life is about progress, about moving forward, about creating something better than you had before. Your life is about actively seeking out opportunities, and then grabbing them, allowing yourself to face the unknown because it’s the only way you can get to where you want to go. Ladies, here are a few steps to help you look forward and not backward.
Learn the lesson and look for the truth.
One reason you may be struggling to let go of your past is that you have not quite learned what you need from it. Take a moment to process the emotions of your past and look for the truth. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". John 8:32 Clearly look to see what was your part in the situation and what part you had no control over. As you fully experience and learn from your past, you’ll be better able to stop dwelling on it, so you can give more of your attention to the future. Make peace with it, then work on letting it go. Ask yourself what you learned from this situation then see yourself as a victor, not a victim. Celebrate that.
The mistakes you made in the past are in the past. They’re irreversible. There’s no point in playing the shoulda-woulda-coulda game with something that has already happened. To be fully transparent with you ladies, I have to admit there were times when I looked back on my past mistakes and pictured myself in that situation again. I would see myself as stronger, and more courageous, and could say what I needed to say with confidence. But the truth is that is not how it happened in reality. However, there is one thing I never allow my clients to do and that is criticize themselves or say, “How could I have been so stupid?” I always let them know (me included) that you were not stupid, you were learning. I believe it was Maya Angelo who said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Take ownership of your past mistakes, forgive yourself and others, then keep it moving. Unforgiveness, guilt, shame, and blame help no one. Now even you.
A goal expresses a hope or a wish for the future, something you intend to work toward and make a reality. Ladies, when you set a goal, you’re thinking about something in your future that you would like to accomplish. You’re thinking about creating the life you want, a future version of “you” that you’d like to be. You’re looking forward and making plans, rather than looking backward with regret. Make sure you’re setting SMART goals—which are:
Measurable so you can track your progress.
Attainable, so you can reach them.
Relevant to your long-term dreams and vision
Time-bound to give you a deadline to work toward.
Gratitude is an excellent way to pull you out of the past and into the present. It compels you to think about what you have now, rather than think about what used to be. Keeping a gratitude journal can be a great way to get your mind into a thankful space, as it encourages you to notice things you’re grateful for throughout the day.
More importantly, gratitude can help you look hopefully toward the future, as you recognize all the beautiful parts of your life that are aligning to help you live a happier, more fulfilled life.
Your best days are ahead of you, not behind you. Trust and believe in that. Choose to move forward with that in mind. Give the future your attention. Keep your eyes facing the direction you want to move and remember anything good for you is in front of you.
Love and Blessings,
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