It’s a new year, and with that comes the desire for fast change, new goals, and a “new you,” right? But the truth is, lasting change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you’re stuck in cycles and patterns, it’s important to change the lens of the past, so you can write your future.
The key to it is to stop over identifying with how you got here. That was a different life; those circumstances were your road signs to help get you here, whatever it took. It’s okay to feel and grieve but so often we over identify with the past and it keeps it alive inside of us. We even adopt labels other people gave us as our own so decades later we still describe ourselves or who we were in that way.
“I was a bad kid.”
“I wasn’t smart.”
“That relationship defined me.”
“I was really overweight.”
When you’re referring to “my journey, my journey, my journey” keep it present and future oriented. It’s nice to honor the past but those events were just road signs. They didn’t change your soul. They might’ve just opened it.
I encourage you to shift out of that “tied to the past” mentality by allowing the lessons you’ve learned, what’s brought you here, to change the lens through which YOU see your past. This will allow you to stop over identifying with it so it doesn’t hinder your future. Many students we have constantly refer to past events or “their story,” whether they want to pay tribute to it or share it with the world, it still keeps them in the past, locked to previous events.
Everything in the past has ONE purpose – to get you where you are right now, in this moment, awake to the world, learning these lessons. That’s it. When we approach the past that way and zoom out from there, it makes it much easier to discern what those lessons were, acknowledge them, be grateful and then let them stay in the past.
If you are feeling emotionally tied to a specific situation, ask yourself what you wish would have happened differently and then ask yourself what you wish you had done differently. Take note if in the present you are still engaging in that same behavior.
Some people will introduce themselves with the past experiences they believe gave their life purpose. ________ happened to me and that’s what brought me here or why I do the work I do. Though this may have helped them find their purpose, it is important to still hold a vision from the present moment instead of constantly being tied to the past.
So what’s more true? Could it be that your soul always knew its purpose and those events gave you a swift push in a certain direction? Defining your present with events from the past is a surefire way to get stuck in the past. Seeing the past through a “what’s more true” lens will allow you to let go, live more fully in your soul and will allow you to write your future story without all these mental prequels you have tied yourself to. From that place you get to define, as if for the first time, everything that’s important to you. What does work mean? What does love look and feel like? What does it mean to be part of a family? What is my purpose?
Let’s write and live each day of 2019 as if it were new, free from old ties and worn out stories, with all possibilities up for grabs. This might rattle you because it leaves the future uncertain, but remember, it is only in a field of uncertainty that any and all things are possible.
Written by Katie Kovaleski