You Are Not Your Past

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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards”

Soren Kierkegaard

Many of us make the cardinal mistake of being trapped by our past instead of moving forward. This is akin to driving forward with our foot on the brakes. We do this on our own or we allow others to take us back to our past.

Our past is made up of the good and the bad, the functional and dysfunctional stories. Our past is a concoction of the workable and unworkable. No matter how much of a good story your life can turn out to be, there are those who will always want to take you back to your painful past.

No matter how much of a good story your life can turn out to be, there are those who will always want to take you back to your painful past.

I recently caught up with a friend who never had shoes during our  primary school days. He wore big sized clothes donated by his mother’s employer. He was telling me that he was taken back by some of our classmates who want to see him with the lens of the past. Fortunately, he does not allow people to cast aspersions on him.

Another friend narrated how some of her relatives would always tell her that she would amount to nothing in life. She was demeaned as a child, and never given a chance to become someone of value in life.  

Both my friends have common ways in which they turned their situation around and I recommend that you do the same:

Acknowledge your past:  denying, rejecting and trying to evict the past from our minds just maximises its hold on us. Acknowledging  your past sets you free from it.

Forgive: forgiving others does not minimise their actions but removes the shackles of bondage on you. Sometimes we have to give forgiveness even when it was not asked for.

Define your future: use the pain of the past to implement lessons for the future. Your past is just one point lesson for the brighter future that lies ahead.

You have a birth right to live a meaningful and significant life. Make the best of it. You do not deserve to be a prisoner of your past.

Tex Hlalele is a speaker, life and business coach. He is the author of the book, Face the person in the mirror. Book Tex to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organisational advancement on +2764 656 6174 or visit http://www.dreamsmadepossible.co.za/contact.html

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