In a recent telecast, Joyce Meyer said, “We live life forward, but we understand life backward.”
This is a valid truth and one we women often reverse. We look backward and then decide how and if we should move forward.
We look back at the what-might-have-been moments of life.
- If only I had married a man who kept his covenant vows
- If only I had finished college when I had the chance
- If only I hadn’t said that or done that
- If only I had known then what I know now
- If only …
But looking backward and living in regret will keep us from a healthy forward movement. When we’re looking back all the time, we’ll bump into something ahead of us – and usually cause some type of harm, emotional or physical.
To truly understand life backward, we can instead ask ourselves some difficult yet pointed questions:
- What did I learn from this situation?
- What did I learn about myself from this situation?
- How can I improve in this area so I won’t make the same mistake again?
- What did I learn about God’s love for me because of this situation?
- How can I use what I learned to help someone else?
Do you see how much more positive these questions are?
When we journal through the process of learning from the past, then we focus on how to grow and how to share. The If Only statements are self-deprecatory. They condemn us, blame us and eventually – shame us.
We don’t need to live in shame – ever – because shame keeps us from moving forward. It blocks hope from our souls.
Author Holly Gerth writes, “I don’t produce my worth; I receive it.”
So no matter what we have produced or what has happened to us in the past, that situation does NOT affect WHO we really are. It is only a piece of our history, a small part of our journey on earth.
God does NOT look at what we do and judge us for it. He looks at WHO we are and loves us no matter what.
As a life coach at GateWay of Hope, I help my clients move forward. We talk about the obstacle or block that is keeping them from joy. Then we put together a plan for the next step in the journey.
We move forward based on that plan, and I become my client’s accountability partner. We don’t dwell on the past. We don’t look backward unless we’re going to find a nugget of learning and base our next step on that truth.
We don’t live in condemnation about what has happened before. We don’t judge each other. We never approach life from the viewpoint of shame.
So as you’re thinking about moving forward in life, as you’re putting together some steps for a positive attitude – think about how you may be sabotaging yourself by dwelling in the past.
If you need some help with the past, we have counselors who can help you find your way to healing and wholeness. Check out our website at: gwhope.org.
If you want an accountability partner / coach to help you move forward, then contact me at GateWay. My email addy is: email@example.com.
Together, we can move forward and then celebrate the successes of an abundant life.
©2016 GateWay of Hope