When you think of life’s journey and what is around the bend, do you approach it with fear or with excitement? Our journey is influenced by what we have experienced in the past. When I was younger there was so much uncertainty and fear about what was ahead. It wasn’t until I came to terms with my past that I began to approach my journey with excitement. So, you ask, how do you come to terms with your past? If there were an easy answer we would all be approaching life with excitement. Coming to terms with our past requires that we begin with opening our minds and our hearts.
Opening our minds means to set aside our beliefs, assumptions and ideas about someone or some situation and be open to other views. If we set a complex object in the middle of a group of individuals, almost invariably, each will see something different. When others don’t see things the same as we do it is because they can’t. Their experiences have given them a different view. Our job is to respect their view and not take personally. To honor their view as equally important, not wrong or right, bigger or worse. Once we can achieve this then we can begin to open our minds to new experiences. We can begin to truly hear one another we can resolve conflicts, compromise or just let it go and move forward.
Opening our hearts is yet another level and a much scarier one. In order to open our hearts we must become vulnerable to fear and hurt. If our experience is one of being shamed, abandoned or attacked then we will be less open to it. However, in the midst of these vulnerabilities is where healing begins. We can not be open to excitement about the future unless we allow our hearts to open, to heal. Years ago I read somewhere that joy and pain go through the same door and if we block the pain, we block the joy. Change travels from the head to the heart. That channel must be open. We must grieve, feel our feelings, and face our inner demons, otherwise true change can not exist and we stay stuck.
In my own journey I too have been challenged to face my past and my inner demons. Once I was able to do so, my inner demons had no more power over my journey. For me, I also needed the support of others and my faith in order to begin, sustain and endure my journey. Healing took the place. Hope, excitement and joy prevailed. Step by step, little by little, change occurred.
Don’t let your past stand in the way of the excitement of what lies ahead. You are of value and deserve to enjoy your journey.