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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Life Lesson #160 ~You Can't Rewrite Your Past

"I can't. You can't rewrite the past." ~ Jay Asher

How many times do things go wrong in life? Our plans get caught up in mayhem or simply fall off course and  into a stinkin', rotten, nasty, unpleasant, gigantic pot hole in the middle of the road. Sadly a lot of the time we can't avoid the road hazards. They just come with the territory. Goodness gracious I know I've found myself more than once taking the detour. Life just has this way of altering , faltering and revising any and all of our perfectly laid out plans. For whatever reason, life seems to have a mind of it's own right? The same can be said of our past. Our lives are all different, each one of us has a distinct, separate story to tell and like those unaccounted for detours, we tend to stay stuck in the same chapter, and often on the same page over and over again. We get caught in a warped time loop, becoming prisoners of our own poor, sad, story-telling. The reality is while you can't change or rewrite your past, you have the ability and the power to decide this isn't how your story will end.  What is it that we don't have or that we feel we so badly need we're willing to rip out the pages of our life apart to obtain? Personally, when I look back, flipping through the pages of my past, I've realized, "the greatest challenge of my life has been discovering who I am. The second greatest has been being happy with what I've found."

If we're not careful fear, emotional pain and panic combined are more than likely than not to play a very large, dark part in how we view our past. Maybe it's because we feel we were slighted, bruised, snubbed, unnoticed or deserving of more than we got from life. Maybe we've come to believe in spite of all we really do have that life is still simply unfair, unequal, biased and one- sided.  We want more, therefore we deserve more. I've watched it happen more than once as people have desperately tried to re-write their past, to alter their history. Folks so discontent and dissatisfied with the pages of previous chapters, and  full of unrealistic fantasies and expectations they've collectively destroyed, damaged and sabotaged any hope of a promising future. Sadly as I've observed insecurity and anxiety take over the writers pen, I've witnessed envy and bitterness kill more than one story. Brene Brown, couldn't be clearer about this. "Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing that we'll ever do."

Unfortunately when we allow ourselves to dwell on destructive ideas that focus on emotions and feelings rather than our reality we end up with a corrupted, misleading and misguided past. A story that continues to remind us of how we've been left out, forgotten, erased, omitted, excluded and passed over. Thinking this way, is a pretext for an unfounded view of our circumstances and those who actually love us . Instead we become angry, resentful, spiteful, vengeful and un-thankful writers in our own story. This is the thing, as hard as it is to swallow, Tony Gaskins thoughts on our past are truthful. "If you can't do anything about it, then let it go. Don't be a prisoner to things you can't change." Just because we don't like how our past unfolded, how life started out or developed doesn't mean God can't re-write our story. Now understand me, I'm not talking about changing or rewriting your history. I'm referring to how your life plays out from this point on. What we all need to understand, especially when it comes to our live's is this. "The moment in between what you were, and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place." (Barbara De Angelis)  So I wonder who do you really want to be? An overcast shadow of your past, a copy of someone's life you wish had been yours over run by hurt, senseless guilt, filled with self inflicted misery and a victim of you're own making? Or do you want to be free, to be yourself, an original knowing your past is simply that, the past?  Umar Ibn Al-Khattab speaks a truth many of us seem to forget, a little too often. "No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Agree or disagree with the author, there is truth in his words.

What I know about myself is this: My story is my own. I am not you nor are you me. My past, my present and my future are all uniquely my own. The pages of my life are filled with tragedies, hurts, slights, scars and rejections. But those are only pieces of my past, definitely not all of my story. The rest of my life, all of the pages written from the moment my life and my story first began have also been filled with unconditional love. Those two words, well they have been the driving force behind who I was, who I am and who I will become by my stories end. I don't know what my story holds just like I don't know what the pages of your past say about you, or the story they tell. All I know is no one can rewrite their past, not even if you make a wish upon a star. No, the pages that come after what's already been written are blank for a reason. And while those pages are yet unwritten, they're also full of promise and possibility. Tomorrow's chapters are blank intentionally and if you can let go long enough God will begin writing something pretty amazing for your life. Marie Kondo, is so on point when she says, "When we really delve into the reasons for why we can't let something go, there are only two: An attachment to the past or a fear for the future." This is the absolute truth, and the reason why so many of us  throughout our lives lose opportunities for real  happiness, contentment and closure.

Isaiah 43:18-19, encourages us. "Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new." And this is what Life Lesson #160 ~ You Can't Rewrite Your Past is all about. God has something new, something wonderful and something pretty tremendous waiting on us in the next chapter. I don't want be so hung up on yesterday that I miss tomorrow. As emotional beings, we just get too focused on what we don't have yet, or on what we feel we weren't given or should have had all along we end up missing the moment our new chapter begins. The dance eludes us because we're too busy looking back on the past, instead of looking at the partner we're dancing with today. Unfortunately, when this happens we become too deeply engaged in tying to rewrite the pages of our past to suit our present that we miss the pages unfolding in the here and now. Sadly in those moments we fail to look ahead toward the bigger picture God's passionately working on. And all because we can't let go of our past or give God control of our circumstances, trusting Him to write those yet unknown, upcoming chapters for us. Bottom line is we can't undo what's been done, or change how things unfolded. We can however look at our past through His eyes, understanding it, learning from it and moving on to the next chapter in spite of it. Just never forget, the more you fear life, opportunity, change and possibility the more reasons you will have to dread them. The more you love life and those given to you, the more you find a way to see all the beauty life offers, even while sitting in the potholes of life. Just remember, none of us can rewrite the past, but God sure can fill in the blank pages ahead of us!

"It doesn't matter what's been written in your story so far, it's how you fill up the rest of the pages that counts." ` Unknown

~ Christina

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