I have a feeling that many of us need to repeat this affirmation not just today, but every day.
"I am no longer controlled by my past!"
These powerful words resonate with a lot of people, especially with women, because, as humans, we try to control every situation of our lives. We strive for perfection, to fit in, to be loved and admired, to have lives which are fulfilling, whatever our definition of fulfillment is. If a situation doesn't go as planned, we blame ourselves for not having created a flawless reality, a seamless life, even though that perception of perfection is a mere creation of our minds and an attemp to mold ourselves with the society's expectations of us.
What we see is not that we did our best, but that we somehow failed. We don't see that there was a lesson to be learned through our circumstances, instead we focus on the negative, on not achieving what our brains fashioned as the idea of perfection. We don't see ourselves as good enough anymore because our friends on social media attained whatever it is we tried to get and didn't.
Concentrating on what we tell ourselves the outcome should be leads to much disappoinment and fear. In the long run, I believe, that this fear prevents us from doing what we truly want to do. We allow the constraints of our pasts to control our futures.
But, how do we get over the pasts that haunt us all? Here are a few simple ideas to begin:
1. Give yourself a break
This is one of he simplest rules of life, but one we don't seem to practice very often. When our friends or colleagues "fail," we are the first to encourage and cheer them on, but we don't offer ourselves the same luxury. Ever think about that? How many times in the last month, even the last week, have you helped another person feel better about themselves when something in their life didn't pan out? If you really think about it, I bet the number will astound you; but, when you slip up, you're not as caring with yourself as you were with someone else. You beat yourself up instead of pulling yourself up, as you would a comrade.
This cycle must stop. As the saying goes, you cannot fill others from an empty cup. You must have compassion and love for yourself first before you can feel it for someone else. You cannot provide to someone else what you don't have for yourself.
So, the next time that you don't meet your own expectations, I want you to imagine that a friend is in your shoes, instead. I want you to treat yourself the same way you treat others and take it easy on yourself. You did the best you could and that's good enough.
2. Everything happens for a reason
I am a really strong believer that everything happens for a reason and there are no such things as coincidences. True, sometimes bad things happen no matter how hard we try to avoid them, but if we look closely, there is always a lesson to be learned from each event in our lives. We are on a journey on this plane and this journey requires each of us to gain knowledge about ourselves and others and move towards the light.
When things don't work out the way you planned or expected, look back on the situation and examine if the end result you wished for was really in your best interest. Was what you prayed for in alignment with the direction your life has taken or would it have prevented you from being where you are? Most of the time, the answer will be "no" because the Universe knows exactly what we need at the exact moment we need it. Like the old Garth Brooks song says, "sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers."
3. Dwelling holds you back from being your Highest Self
The fear created by dwelling on, and thereby being controlled by your past mistakes will hold you back from achieving your full potential, I can promise you that. Anytime, you're ready to start something big, like a new career or a new relationship, you will be overcome and crippled by fear. You will tell yourself, wrongly, to look back on what happened the last time you attempted a goal. You will say, "see? You can't do this because you couldn't do," whatever it was in your past that didn't manifest impeccably. That's why it is absolutely imperative that you let go of the past and its perceived missteps in order to move on with your life and begin anew.
Put the past in the past, where it belongs, choose to learn from it and don't allow it to control your destiny. We are all humans and every now and then, we are almost designed to mess up, to not have things turn out the way we wanted or meant. As long as you do your best every day, that is good enough and you deserve to dream big and have those dreams come to fruition.