Can I just be honest with you here? Can I just talk real talk, real life junk? Don’t we ALL have “junk” to deal with? The older I get (oops! did I just call myself old?! lol). I mean the more mature I am (har har!), the more I realize even the greatest most solid people still have a certain level of “junk” in their life – or at least, their past.
I grew up in a very, as Steve calls it, “Leave It To Beaver” home. I had a fantastic family life. Loving, caring parents who brought me up leading by example, who were honest enough to admit when they messed up and treated every day as an opportunity as teaching experience of some kind. I could go on and on with how amazing they were, but I’ll spare you the corny details. However, as mentally healthy as I was, I was an only child for 15 years and learned some only child bad habits that proved to not be the most helpful traits when living as an adult – like trying to share your life with your spouse. lol Poor Steve!
I Failed – And I’m PROUD Of It!
Fast forward 20+ years of marriage, I’ve had plenty of failures and so has Steve. We have failed in business, in marriage, in friendships, in finances and in our walk with the Lord – time and time again. I have no real horrible past to blame anything on (remember, I had a great family), I am just human and it’s in our nature to do selfish stupid things and for other people to mess up, hurt you, etc! All people fail.
I have so many regrets in many ways, and then in some ways, I could say I don’t have one! Everything that has happened in the past – both good and bad, has made me who I am today. Of course, failure without correction is not something you can celebrate, but to have experienced failure and learned something from it, grown from it, changed because of it and now can help OTHERS avoid it – those are failures you can celebrate!
I Am On the Road to Success
So, how does this apply to YOUR life, to fitness, to weight loss, to self-improvement, to your relationship with God? Plenty. I have failed BIG TIME in SO many ways, YET, I don’t dwell on it. I practically won’t allow myself to even recall it. If I want to move ahead, I realize I can’t keep visiting the past – and the same applies to you.
Let the past stay in the past. I don’t care if you have done 100 diets and failed, joined 20 gyms and failed, promised to not do (fill in blank here) and failed. You still have the opportunity to succeed today. You still have a goal to strive for. You still have purpose – and you have experience now that you didn’t have once before.
Dwelling on the past, dwelling on past hurts, regrets, bitterness and failures is paralyzing. It is Satan’s way of ruining your present day on past experiences so you never have a chance to have a better future. Dwelling on the past is poison, it’s a complete waste. It’s destructive. You are NOT the person you were yesterday. Literally. You are a day older, you are breathing new air, you are in a different place. No matter who you were yesterday, you don’t have to repeat yesterday’s mistakes. You can change.
I Start Over Every Day
You can reinvent yourself every single day. It happens in the gym and it happens in marriages, in careers and even in our heart. But it starts with making a decision to change and then making a daily decision to press on.
You can decide TODAY is going to be the day you work on the new you, a you that is more forgiving (of you AND others!). TODAY, is going to be a day you act successful – in your marriage, in your fitness, in your spiritual life, in your job. TODAY, you begin making decisions that will help you reach your goal. You quit allowing your emotions to lead your choices and you press on, looking ahead – and you never look back.
How can I forgive people who have hurt me? Because I refuse to let them hurt me today. It’s the past. Yes, I’ve been hurt, but no one is hurting me now unless I let them. That was SO yesterday! How do I forgive myself? I realize I’m human and it’s in my nature to mess up. If God can forgive me, who am I not to forgive myself? AND, I am already prepared to mess up again. It’s inevitable, but I will decide now never to quit trying.
I’m Looking Forward
How do I press on knowing I’ve failed at things before? Because I remember all the people who failed a million times before they succeeded. Because I know perseverance pays off. Because I have more experience now, I have more failures under my belt, which will help me make smarter decisions today. Because I know, this time, I am following God’s lead (not my own!) – and He’s pretty darn smart! 🙂
One of the greatest men in the Bible, Paul, said “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:13). If you don’t know Paul’s history that doesn’t really mean much, But, if you know who Paul was (once called Saul), he was a HORRIBLE person. He was a religious leader, a zealot, who killed people who didn’t believe what he believed. He was like a modern day terrorist. Doing horrible things for a “good cause”. He was lost. He was a failure.
I can’t imagine the regret he had. However, when his life changed that day on the road to Damascus, he realized the importance of not looking back. He had to. So he had to make a daily decision to look forward, to look upward, to keep his eyes focused on the “prize” as he calls it. He was heaven bound and he wasn’t going to let his past slow him down one bit.
If Paul can get past his past, so you can you. Don’t let the devil rob you of your job by pulling you back into the past. Say goodbye to the past and hello to a different more amazing future.
I hope this encourages you. We all have our “stuff”. While I’m not going through any major crisis right now, or really even coming out of one, it is SO easy to let even the little stuff trip me up. I know I’m not alone. So many people who struggle with their weight, health, marriage and just “life”, and they allow their past failures and experiences to slow progress. The cycle has to stop. It’s time to be like Paul “focus on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”.