Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…


Using the Past as a Stepping Stone

All of us have some things that we have done that we are not proud of. We have some skeletons in our closets that we would rather keep hidden. We even have some things that we feel would damage our reputations, our lives, etc, if they are uncovered. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to forget that we have a past, that we allow our past to dictate our present.We allow our past to control our lives–how we behave is based on the past-how we interact with others is based on the past-how we love others and how we allow ourselves to be loved is based on our past–and we get caught in cycles that keep us from moving forward. What is important about having a past is acknowledging it and getting over it. This is not to say that we do not care about anything that has happened in our past–and it’s not to say that we do not regret things that we have done–it is also not to say that some of what has happened in our past has not had an effect on us–but we cannot afford to dwell in what has happened. That will keep us in a prison of our own minds–us screaming at the locked windows when all we have to do is open the lock and free ourselves. It is so crucial that we realize that what has happened in our lives has produced who we are at this very moment. Some things were just necessary. In this push to get past everything that has happened and dwell in the future, there are some who may try to keep you bound in what has been, but you cannot allow it. Think of it as a fight for your life. Let’s say you are in the ocean and you begin to drown. It seems that you are being held down, but as you look up you can see the light. You begin to fight towards the light, unrelenting, determined, and focused. Finally you break through and you look back down from whence you have come. At that point you decide that no matter what you will not be held down under than water again. We have to be just like this when we think of being relegated to our past history. We have to fight through all that threatens to hold us down, and bask in the “light” of our present. The blessing in life is that if you live to see another day, that is another chance to do things better than you did them the day before. Choose today to live focused on the present and the future. Your past helped to produce you, but your past does not dictate all that you will become. Use your past as a stepping stone and move forward.

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It’s Over!

Today is an interesting day…I feel like a new woman, yet I still feel like I’m uncomfortable with getting comfortable with the new me. I know that sounds funny, but that’s the best way I can describe it. Even so, I have decided that I will embrace all that is a part of this new me.There are some things that we get used to–a certain way that we’ve gotten used to doing things–a certain way that we talk to others–a certain way that we look at life–and all of these “certain” ways come about by experiences in life. Some things have happened to me that made my perspective in life shift, and the shifting was not always positively. To be completely honest, in some ways I thought less of myself, and I began to see myself as less than who I really am. I had to have a perspective transformation. I was reminded recently that all that has happened in my life-whether it happened a long time ago or more recent-is over! Because it’s all over, I no longer have an excuse to see things the way I’ve been seeing them. I no longer have an excuse to think of myself as less than who I am. Because it’s over I can move forward without looking back. Just like we wash our hands literally, we have to be able to wash our hands figuratively. All of that mess that tries to keep us bound no longer has that power unless we allow it. The funny thing about us is that we tend to hold on to our bonds even after we’ve been released from them. I did that for a long time. Everyone else has moved on, but we still hold on to what has happened. By doing so we neglect to realize all that is before us. By the time we realize all that we are missing it may be too late. It is time for us to release ourselves from our self-made prisons. Yes it happened, and no it may not have been a good situation, but know that it strengthed you. It may still seem that no good thing could come of what has happened in your life, but know that if you believe and you allow yourself to move forward, then you will see the good and be thankful for the bad. All that has happened is over…so you get over it…and move forward!

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Fear and Mistakes

We all have things that we fear, and we have all made mistakes. However, it is up to us to decide how we handle those fears and how we move forward from our mistakes. There are tangible things that we fear such as snakes, spiders, dogs, etc. Then there are the intangible things that we sometimes refuse to acknowledge. For instance, many of us have a fear of succeeding. I know that this seems ridiculous but really this fear is quite real. On the surface we all want to succeed at what we do in life, but some of us are afraid to succeed for fear of being in the spotlight–or we fear that once we succeed then we will probably mess up afterwards. Either way, there is a battle going on within us because on one side we want to succeed but on the other side we are afraid that we will fail. This is a tough place to be in.  Others of us may fear being rejected or abandoned. We choose not to embrace people because it is seemingly safer to dwell alone than to face someone possibly rejecting us. We build walls around ourselves, and we become our own best friend and enemy. The problem with building these walls, though, is that while we are keeping others out we are also keeping ourselves blocked in. Sometimes we have to be willing to be hurt in order to get what it is we really need in the first place. In another vein, all of us have made mistakes and have done some things that we regret. We get stuck in the fact that we have made these mistakes, and we remain stagnant  because we refuse to let go of what we have done. Our lives begin to rotate around the fact that we have messed up, and we forget that though we have messed up we cannot stay there. We will only be able to live fully if we get over it. We cannot allow ourselves or anyone else to keep us bound especially when we have expressed our regret, asked for forgiveness, and made a choice to move forward. We have to realize, when we are faced with fear and the mistakes of our past, that we are stronger than our fears and bigger than our mistakes. We are strong enough to fight against the fears that threaten to envelop us and we are big enough to see past the mistakes to what is next to come in our lives. It is time that we stand up and know that what is within us is much greater than what we have feared, and our mistakes do not define us. Our mistakes add character and teach us valuable lessons that we can then teach others. Remember, you are stronger than your fears and bigger than your mistakes-no one and nothing can keep you bound unless you allow it to.