What's in the past is in the past. It cannot be changed, and it should not be regretted. Each and every one of us has a past; a story that is uniquely ours; one that has shaped us into the individuals that we are today. Many people, however, have a hard time letting go of the past. I was one of those people for a very long time. We often hold grudges, or allow a mistake to eat us alive. And this should never be the case. No matter how horrible or how incredibly wonderful your past may be, I ask you to be thankful for it.
My past is somewhat personal to me. I have shared bits and pieces with close friends, and there is really only one person in my life that knows the full, detailed story. But I will briefly share with you this: the first part of my childhood was wonderful! I lived in a big house with a giant backyard that I practically spent all my time in on any nice day. I had incredibly loving parents, grandparents, and babysitters that played along with anything I asked them to. My sister was my best friend. And Ms. Melinda, the world's greatest dance teacher, was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. And then I turned 8. My parents decided they were not meant for each other, so my mom packed up and moved my sister and I back to KC. The next few years pretty much sucked. But slowly (and I mean really slowly) I began to heal. I think I was 17 years old by the time I finally made decent peace with the situation, and there are still times today when it will haunt me. The point is, during this time, I learned so much about myself. Rather than looking at the unfortunate events of my past, I choose to believe that everything happens for a reason. I learned a lot about the world. I had to move states, switch schools, make new friends, keep up with old friends. I had to grow up at a young age. I felt responsible for my sister and her happiness, and I later felt the same for my step sister. I believe that my step-sister, who lives in a house of boys, needed some female role models in her life (that's where my sister and I come in). I think that my sister and I needed a brother (my step-brother). And I think that my father being in Fayetteville definitely helped me discover the University that I am now in love with. My past led me to where I am today, and I think I turned out alright! My past is also full of many blessings, different friendships (some failed), years of dance, school, and lots of other things. But every aspect, good or bad, has been a learning experience.
One thing that tends to get in the way for me is all the "what-if's." What if I had gone out with that boy? What If I had stayed friends with her? What if I hadn't quit dancing? What if I had gone to that school instead? How would my life be different? The point is, that didn't happen. That is not what was meant to happen. Wherever you are in your life right now is absolutely where you are meant to be, and your past has led you there. As difficult as it is to believe that sometimes, it is the truth.
We have all dealt with different stresses and hardships, and we all deal with them in different ways. But no matter what you have dealt with, however big or small, everything in your past has created the wonderful you that you are today. Every single thing, person, event, etc. They all play a great part.
This week I challenge you to make peace with your past. Say "thank you" to yesterday. Whether your past was extremely hard or incredibly wonderful, reflect on the things you have experienced. Think about all the things you find troubling or things that you often regret, and let them go. Accept that the past made you who you are today, and for that, it is a wonderful thing.
Have a wonderfully productive week :)