Do you have something that happened in your past that still hangs over you to this very day? Perhaps it was something foolish that you did when you were younger or maybe it was a secret situation that no one else knew about except you. Most of us have things in our lives that we wish we could do over. However, there is something powerful that you can do with those situations. Before I tell you what that is, let me tell you two things that do not work concerning your past.
First, you can regret your past. This causes you to feel guilty and frustrated because of what happened. Guilt is truly the gift that keeps on giving! There is no way in the world for you to go back and undo the past. When you live in regret, you live under a cloud of sorrow and depression. Thoughts often go through your mind such as, “I wish I could do that over again.” Or, “I wish that had never happened.” Or, “If only, if only, if only…” Regret simply takes you around in circles and you end up right back where you started.
Second, you can re-live your past. This is perhaps an even worse situation. When you try to re-live your past, you are constantly looking for ways to undo what has already been done. I know people who are still trying to make amends for something that happened long ago. Some people still strive to please a deceased relative, hoping to make a past mistake turn out better. When you think about it, that makes absolutely no sense at all! When you continually re-live your situation, it brings you to a dead-end. You end up staying stuck.
There is another way to handle your past. You can reframe it. This is the ideal. When you reframe your past, you are able to look at it and learn from your mistakes. You are able to learn and grow from what you have experienced in life.
As human beings, we all make mistakes. Rather than living with a spirit of regret, or trying to re-live the past, the best thing we can possibly do is to reframe everything. We must put things in proper perspective. Our mistakes may have been made when we were trying to learn how to do life. They might have been by accident, or they may have been deliberate. But, either way, the deed was done. Now the best thing to do is reframe it by seeing that what happened gave you new direction, insights and wisdom for life. In other words, things didn’t happen to you, they happened for you!
I want to encourage you to take the time to ask yourself some questions. What bothers you? What haunts you? What thoughts constantly creep into your mind when you are quiet and lay in bed at night or are all alone? Learn to reframe those thoughts and let them be the road signs that take you in a new direction in your life.
I have learned to do this although it has been painful. I have allowed my failures to turn into blessings in my life by reframing things that have hurt me in the past. Now they give me direction for my life in the present and for the future.
All of us can reframe things in such a way as to learn from our mistakes and failures in order to become all that we were meant to be. That is the healthy way to see life. It is also the best way to grow in the future. I guarantee you this attitude works! Try it!
Tip: There is something powerful you can do with your past!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm