Making Peace with the Past
Hello and welcome back to “A NU You!” In my last blog we immersed ourselves in making positive changes while leveraging our fears. To truly appreciate the moment, prepare for the future, and absorb all of these great tips and strategies to help you maximize your life with a disability, it is imperative you don’t carry any of the debilitating beliefs and behaviors from your past into the future. While we can’t change our pasts, we can go back to any moment in time and make peace with any person or event that has transpired. It was once said “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and the moment is the gift, also known as the present.” Right here, right now let’s put the past in its proper place and stop carrying it around (our so-called negative experiences and energy).
Let it go
Part of the journey in making peace with the past involves reinterpreting what happened in that moment and what transpired following that moment. Many people with disabilities as well as friends and family of those with disabilities, still struggle with their pasts as it relates to disability. While this is understandable, the past does not have to equal the future, but it very well can if we continue to keep ourselves trapped in our pasts and refuse to “let go” of the energy surrounding the event.
Forgive, don’t blame
We do have a choice to make peace with the past and it must begin with FORGIVENESS. Now this may be the most important thing I share with you in this blog entry … forgiving does not mean forgetting
. When we forgive someone or ourselves, we release the energy, the negative emotions surrounding the event. It means we no longer have to carry around the tremendous burden anymore. For example, too many people blame themselves or others for their disabilities. While the blame may be justifiable based on what happened, playing the blame game does not and will not resolve anything; it can actually create a lot of stress and anxiety in your life. You have every right to be angry, sad and frustrated by what has happened to you or someone for whom you care. While it is so important to feel and release those feelings, you do not need to carry those feelings around with you for the rest of your life … that’s a heavy burden to carry. Been there, done that!
Think about this. We can probably all agree there is no one who would ever wish a disability upon his or her worst enemy nor would seek to harm someone that would result in a disability. That tells me this blame game, this burden, has got to end. If forgiving someone is what it’s going to take to free yourself emotionally, then go for it. If forgiving yourself is what’s needed, you can do it … you deserve it.
Attitude of gratitude
While we are practicing forgiveness for ourselves and others, I also want to recommend creating an attitude of gratitude as a path towards making peace with the past. People constantly ask me what is the quickest way to begin feeling better about yourself and what you have created in your past? My response is always, “gratitude.” Imagine being grateful for EVERYTHING that has transpired in life … every event, every choice. This includes your disability to which I ask you, “what are you grateful for as a result of your living with a disability?” Now if you have a sense of humor and wish to go that route you may respond by saying, “great parking spaces”, “front of the line at Disney”, “discounts,” “great seats at concerts, the theater and sporting events.” These are all fine, but let’s dig a little deeper.
Did you meet anyone as a result of your disability? Have you developed any empowering characteristics (maybe more compassionate, sensitive, caring, etc.)? Has your disability heightened some of those positive traits that were already there before your disability? Maybe your disability has brought you and a loved one or friend closer. Dig deep and I am sure you will find much to be grateful for as a result of what your disability has given you and maybe still continues to give you.
Take the Nu Challenge
- Ask yourself “who needs to be forgiven and for what?"
- Begin you day and end your day with gratitude.
We always talk about what we want in life, which is fine, but I am strongly recommending you put more of an emphasis on what you already have each and every day.
As always, if you have any questions or which to share something regarding today’s blog, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Until next time when we will be discussing eating healthy and nutrition, enjoy the journey in creating “A NU You!”
Click here to watch Scott's vlog on this topic