"Stop looking where you’ve been and watch where you’re going.” - Light Stephenson, III
These were my father’s famous words. One day while driving it hit me like a ton of bricks, there were a lot of things my Dad used to say that now had such profound meaning, but this one stuck out the most. When my sister and I were little kids our parents took us on trips and we’d be sitting in the back seat and I remember always looking back behind us out the window, in my mind I did it because I was bored to death, but what my father saw was a little girl that never looked forward where she was going.
I believe he told me to look forward in order to stop suffering from the past and things that don’t matter anymore. Plus, I am certain that he knew that other people in the world would make sure that I never forgot my past anyway. People can be cruel and will hold your mistakes over your head like a 10-ton elephant and make you feel guilty and shamed all your life just to have power over you and control what you do and even who you become.
My unconventional father sprinkled so many priceless jewels of wisdom into my life and for that, I am grateful. What it means is that my foundation that he helped built isn’t cracked at all; it’s actually rock-solid. I just had to get other people’s negative words and beliefs out of my freaking mind and remember what he taught me. My past is not who I am, but what helps me move forward. It gives me strength and wisdom to keep pressing on and to not do that thing I didn’t do right again. Without failure we don’t know success and if we don’t fall we never appreciate having to get back up. Let’s face it, we are all perfectly created, but we do make errors along the way, otherwise we would never learn what it means to overcome and to not choose to be the victim all our lives.
I have to admit there have been many occasions in my life where I spent way too much time looking where I had been and being reminded of what I had done. When instead I should have been forgetting it, forgiving myself, and moving forward. It kept me stuck in a mindset that brought upon lack, self-doubt, self-sabotage, and low self-esteem, which thus lead to even more bad decisions. Then I would just take my cavewomen bat out and beat myself up with it and always feel defeated. Why? Because, instead of remembering who I am, forgetting the past and moving on, I allowed everyone to hold things against me and control me, it was just easier than being accountable for myself. Most importantly, I never forgave myself, I was miserable and felt so out of control of my thoughts, feelings, and my life.
Ugh! I finally grew exhausted and enraged from feeling like I was in a vicious cycle of drama and I felt like my past became a prison or even purgatory. I just had to break out before I lost my mind and pulled all my hair out. I finally had enough of the bullshit, and I broke out like a bandit. I reclaimed my place in the universe as an individual and it was so liberating and I will never ever look back ever again. And guess what? When someone tries to take me back to my past, they really wish they didn’t.
Be mindful of the wisdom imparted by your elders, it can literally change your life. I wish I had taken my father’s advice long ago, but once I listened that advice did get me where I needed to be, in the NOW. It is okay to look back and say goodbye to your past, but it’s not okay to live there. If you need to quit looking where you have been and start looking where you are going, I have the keys to help you unlock your personal forgiveness and freedom. Start loving yourself enough today, it’s never too late to stop looking behind you.