Every woman has at least one thing in common. We all have a past.
For years my past was like the bully on the playground cruelly taunting me keeping me in fear and stuck in a constant state of self-condemnation.
Is it the same for you?
What would happen if instead of seeing our pasts as reminders of our missteps we viewed them as a source of information and inspiration?
Did you know your yesterdays can be your greatest teacher or your worst enemy?
And you get to choose?
For years I never knew there was any other choice but to live in the shadows of a shameful past.
The day God informed me that it was my decision was a turning point.
When you decide your yesterdays will no longer deplete you but provide the fuel that radically changes your todays is when your life is forever altered.
No one likes to remember painful times, failures, old sins, regrets or loss.
But when we begin to look at our past from a “student’s” perspective in life’s classroom searching for valuable lessons and repetitive behavioral patterns that are holding us back, the torment of the past now becomes the tool to create amazing todays.
The past is now productive and useful, an asset instead of a liability.
It is no longer something to run from or deny but to embrace.
While all bad memories may not be the result of our actions we suffer the pain nonetheless.
No woman chooses to be mistreated or wounded but all of us can choose our reactions when it happens.
Our todays are impacted positively or negatively by our response to yesterday’s hurtful behavior of others.
Every woman I know has done things she deeply regrets. I have.
A certain woman made a bad decision and was now facing the consequences.
A wrong choice resulted in her being judged, labeled and condemned to die.
Would this be the day she died in the bondage of her past or would it be the day her shame would be replaced with grace and a chance for a fresh start?
That day the only One qualified to condemn her does not.
Instead Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11.
Instead of shaming her for yesterday’s poor choice, He instructs her to go and leave behind her old life taking a valuable lesson from the moment with her.
He uses a negative situation to teach her a positive, life-changing lesson.
Our pasts, regardless of how ugly, sin-filled or nasty do not have to be in vain.
Looking for lessons in my past was hard but necessary.
Who wants to recall cringeworthy or deeply troubling times?
But this I know:
Our lives will never change until we change and we cannot change until we know where change is necessary.
Our pasts hold that answer.
My past revealed a pattern of sabotaging relationships, quitting goals when it got hard and justifying bad decisions instead of owning them.
It told me that I was insecure, unteachable, undisciplined with an unhealthy need to be liked (validation) which resulted in being used, manipulated and mediocre.
These powerful revelations were the starting point from which to begin the process of creating lasting inner self-worth instead of searching for it externally, to becoming coachable and developing discipline.
I had to make some hard changes but they led to the very happiness I had been seeking all along.
Looking into our past can be painful and embarrassing.
It requires facing hard truths and making difficult admissions.
It requires forgiving others and ourselves.
It is not easy. But it is worth it.
The past contains valuable insight needed to create lasting changes so we aren’t repeating our pasts in our present.
When we ask the pasts to teach us she will always say yes.
We become the student and the past is our teacher.
It inspires us to keep pressing forward and encourages us not to repeat old sins, habits and mistakes but to extract the lessons and let them go.
Playing yesterday’s pain on repeat in our heads, punishing ourselves for past sins, ongoing seething with resentment from old hurts keeps our lives in turmoil and drama.
Learn that lesson then let it go.
Everything you need to know about creating the life you want can be found in the archives of your past.
It contains all the wisdom, inspiration, information and motivation necessary to keep you focused on becoming the woman you want to be if you will let it.
Don’t look back and relive regrets. What’s done is done.
Healing and change begins when we can look back at our pasts and say “Thank you for the lessons.”