We can’t get where we’re going by always looking back.
It is true, we can’t get where we’re going by always looking back. Looking back inhibits us from moving forward. This is especially true where faith is concerned. Stepping forward is a prerequisite of advancing into the unseen.
Many of us get stuck in the past. We have memories of a better time, greater friends or superior positions, but that time is gone and those things if we had them right now may not give us what they once did. For everything there was a purpose and that purpose has brought us to now.
Often I run into this issue in my own relationship. My wife loves to go back in time and blame others for the situation and circumstance we are experiencing right now. I’m not saying I am immune to the same temptations, but my second guessing is largely directed at myself. “If I only did this.” or “If I only didn’t do that.” are the most common phrases of regret that I use privately in my own mind. However, my wife is really verbal about her regrets in regards to the decisions of those around her. She loves to nurture her ego by freeing herself from blame and attaching the responsibility for perceived negative circumstances and situations to those around her, especially to me. Not the best option.
It is amazing how two people’s perceptions of where we are and where we are going can differ so greatly. Time and again I have seen the power of Spirit work incredible miracles in our lives. Wonderful testimony has been birth through the pains of our labor, yet how easy it is to forget the great gifts we have received. Every trial and tribulation has strengthened us in every way. Sometimes it strengthens our marriage and other times it strengthens us physically, financially, spiritually and emotionally. One thing is for sure though, the tighter the squeeze; the sweeter the juice.
We really can’t go back and second guess our lifetimes. God’s plan has a purpose that we can never truly fathom. The complexity of it all will only serve to overwhelm us. His blessings have to be very calculated because in the process of blessing one it is highly likely that another could lose their blessing. It all has to be done perfectly. The timing must be just right so not to curse the righteous.
The last issue in which my wife was making her feelings known to me took place in the kitchen after dinner. She stated, “This is it. We’re not going to go through this again?” You see, we have been in a financial pinch once again as most couples are during the current economic crisis. The beauty of it is that, as I said earlier, so much good has already come of it. My relationship has been strengthened, my wife’s faith has increased exponentially and I have been able to share so much with those around me as I have been given the gift of wisdom from every experience. In fact we are poised to make more money this year than any year which preceded it. Now that the blessing is coming the testimony will soon be shared. So why would she want to second guess our choices now?
We know what we want to do, what we need to do and what we must do. The trick is to stop slipping back into what we used to do.
You see, old habits are hard to break. It is very easy to fall back into our old ways of thinking and being. There is something safe and secure about it. In her mind she sees a place of peace as being still and holding on tightly to where we are or were, but that is not part of God’s plan. We were created to move forward not to hold back. The Ego is a very tricky thing. It will use fear and illusion to convince us that we are not good enough and that we are only as great as we used to be. In order to have a healthy relationship with God we must release ourselves from the past and use the now to catapult us into the future. We have a far greater purpose than the one we see.
A healthy relationship is when one person discourages the other from striving for their dreams, causes them to doubt their abilities and tells them to settle for only what they have been. Oh wait, that is a diseased relationship.
In many cases we have married what was and our Ego has fallen in love with it. After all, the Ego lives to devour us and knows the best way to do that is by encouraging us to believe that we need to continually acknowledge what has been and give up hope for what could be.
We must not become inundated by the things of the past. We can own it, but we don’t want to be owned by it. Remember our emotions can either make us or break us. If we feel negative emotions while relating to things of the past we will become a magnet for more of the same NOW and continue to bring more of the same into our future. I admit it is easy to become inundated by past experiences. When we talk about them and think about them we become consumed with the emotions associated with them. We feel it from head to toe with the essence of all that we are. This is perfect for receiving more of the same. What we need to do is use the same process to get what we want. The Ego wants us to believe there is only one way, but the truth is there are many ways. Often the best course of action is to put down the paddle and let the river’s current move us down stream. We can have whatever we want; just not the way we want.
Who is this Ego guy anyway? Well, it is the little green thing inside us all who wants to keep us from Truth. It loves to make us lie to ourselves about the reasons we do the things that we do. Justification is one of its trademark features. It hates it when we take the blame for our own mistakes and short comings. If we are not careful Ego will have us believing the lies that we tell ourselves are real, cause us to make decisions based on those lies and allow us to constantly make the wrong decisions. It would have us believe that if we don’t have total control of the people, places and things in our lives than we will lose the race that it has convinced us we are in. It is a tricky one indeed. Sometimes it can get a little bruised and feel a little unloved but for the most part it gets stronger the more we take part in its theatrical production of “It’s all about me”.
By wrong decisions I don’t mean wrong choices in the past; instead I am referring to wrong thinking in the NOW. Today is a new day and in this moment we can choose our experience. Happiness is a choice independent of those around us. Forgiveness, gratitude, empathy, faith, hope and love are the ingredients of all that is good and righteous. This is the key to our Being.
As we look to the past as being filled with purpose we can move through the now successfully and into a purposeful future continually.
We can’t be all that we are created to be by catering to Ego. Blaming others for what we perceive as errors will only serve to agitate those we love and inhibit us from moving forward. The truth is blame is a two way street and any of us can go back to any particular point in time and pass the blame on to someone else. I reluctantly chose to give an example of this to my wife that day in the kitchen. She had just given a rundown of all the poor decisions we have ever made, while emphasizing that most were because of me, when suddenly I received an epiphany. Everything she stated would never have been an issue if she was never so adamant about moving to our new neighborhood. Everyone else was happy where we were. You see, a series of events took place, fueled by jealousy, which caused the destruction of our business, a division in our family and a tide of other related issues. In truth, incredible blessings came from all these things. In fact we may never know how truly blessed we were. We know what is seen, but not what was unseen.
I clearly stated, “It’s your entire fault! If we never bought this house we would have plenty of money in the bank and would never have experienced all the other negative things that have happened since.” Oh, she did not like that. She began to stutter and sputter words in no particular order as she attempted to go back in time and find a “restore point” for her hard drive.
It is just like a computer that is acting sporadically. We begin to run in safe mode, get into the accessories menu, go into system tools and restore our computer to a certain restore point. In fact her mind was doing that very thing. It frantically searched for a place to backup her desired mind set. Finally, “You could have said no!” At this point I had to let her know that I was just attempting to help her realize that no decision is really the wrong decision. God takes it all and makes something better with it. Every decision we ever made was the right decision and every one of them has brought us forward to where we are today. We must never second guess.
We don’t know what would have happened if we made a different choice. Perhaps we did stay in the old house and the entire family died in a fire. It is possible that we did have tons of money in the bank, but decided to give the stock market a try and lost it all. Maybe our children would have encountered problems at their old school. If fact, I am sure that if we evaluate all the occurrences for good now we will truly see the blessings in them all. The family is undivided today and stronger than ever. The truth rose to the top in all things. Our children are excelling in a far better school system than they were in previously. In fact the school was voted the best in the state. The mortgage on our house was lowered to less than we were paying on our old house and we are moving closer and closer to more financial blessings every day.
In looking back we must only see the good in what used to be, we must find blessings in what we perceived as curses and realize that in every lesson learned is grace.
As we concentrate on what Is what was becomes a blur and what will be comes into focus.