If you’re reading this alive. You’re breathing and you’re here; that’s a good thing. If you’re reading this more than likely you’ve experienced some form of hurt, loss, struggle and possibly trauma. Life can be hard, really hard. How we respond to life, its challenges and struggles can impact our mindset and even quality of life. That’s a tough one to digest, but it’s true. You want a game changer? Learn how to use your past to strengthen you rather than consume you. Holy moly.
You have NO clue what I’ve been through…
I don’t. Zero. Zilch. Nada. But what I can tell you is heartache, challenge and trauma have three different outcomes for every single human on this planet. Our ‘stuff’ can consume us, make us bitter, angry and sometimes transform us into someone we were never intended to be. It can also cause us to go through life on ‘cruise control’ with no severe negative or positive personal transformations. We just kind of go through the motions of life. Third, we work on stepping forward and working on taking our past and our stuff as a way to fuel our passion, our vision and quality of life rather than consume us with angst and bitterness.
How to use your past to strengthen rather than consume you
Abandonment. Loss. Poverty. Abuse. Grief. There are a gazillion truly tragic and heart aching descriptions of what we may have or are facing in our lives. It can feel like life has a fierce grip around our throats with intention of sucking every last breath out of us. It can be tiring, frustrating and energy exuding. I do not know your story and more than likely never will, but I will say that HOW we choose to face every single challenge is important.
How the heck do I approach it?
- Remind yourself daily YOU are significant, valuable and amazing: Post it notes, verbal reminders or whatever form sticks for you…do it! Use short, brief descriptions of WHO you are and the VALUE you hold.
- You are NOT alone: Seeking out support and encouragement in creative ways will remind you of your value and having you feeling less alone which can often trigger negative thoughts. This can be a support group, joining an adult athletic league/ class for a hobby that you’re interested in.
- Seek wisdom and direction: I believe in the power of prayer and seeking wisdom and confidence in the knowledge that not only am I not alone, but God loves me. Asking for peace, wisdom and direction can pave the path for clarity of mind and encouragement.
Burn, burn, burn that ring of fire…
I love Johnny Cash and anytime I can throw in a lyric or two good things happen. Get your fire burning. How can you use your ‘stuff’ to transform you and your level of passion in life? This doesn’t mean you have to get in front of an audience of 1,000 people sharing your life story. It simply means getting fueled up about life. That can mean funneling your hurt, anger, stress into going to the gym, running, hitting a punching bag and releasing all that’s bottled up and feeling really good about you.
Thought replacement. When thoughts of what a particular event, situation or individual surface that evoke negatives, gutting feelings, etc. it’s coming up with a picture of a person, place or moment that brings out a calm or relaxed sense. This takes time and discipline, but it can make an impact on what we focus on. Our thoughts influence every aspect of our lives.
Motivated by motivators…
I believe who we surround ourselves with is critical in life. Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Are they positive? Do they encourage you and others around them? How have and are they dealing with their own personal ‘stuff’? If there is more negatives than positives, it may be time to either reconsider who you invest your time in or have a good sit down chat with those people individually. Iron sharpens iron. Being around those who do not bring out the best in us only deters our process of being fueled by the things we’ve been through.
Let it go…
I recently wrote a post on the process of releasing our grudges. A grudge can become a heavy burden that can transform into bitterness. When we examine what we hold in our heart against others it can be uncomfortable and even scary. But taking that step is significant. Take a few minutes to read over my grudge post on tips of releasing these things that then can assist in learning how to fuel our ‘stuff’ of the past into a crazy beautiful present.
No one can make us alter our mindset. The choice is ours. The step in shifting our mindset is a big one. It takes time, patience and honesty. When we hop on board it can place our quality of living in a whole different zone. It’s life altering and it is so worth it.
How fueled on life are you? Are changes needed? Remember, was long as we’re breathing change and those tiny tweaks are always possible.