Is it better to look back or gaze forward? Which path will bring you to the pinnacle of your life purpose?
Look Back with Wisdom
In my life, I looked back with self-judgment and loathing, never understanding the concept of:
- Taking a bird’s eye view
- Determining the errors
- Understanding the why
- Imagining alternative behaviors
- Embracing love and compassion
This simple plan of reviewing with acceptance is the essence of learning from our past choices.
Here is an example from my life.
- My marriage ended in divorce.
- The relationship was based on looking for a self-love substitute.
- Why did I engage in self-destructive behavior?
- If I knew then what I know now.
- My choices were necessary for me.
Of course, this is a significant life event. Yet the simplicity of this process breaks it down into digestible bites, releasing the nutrients within.
When I understood the complexity and depth of my suffering, it was much easier to give myself a break. So it’s easier to give others a break, which results in a kinder existence for everyone.
What was the timeline for this example?
The marriage lasted twenty-three years. Since I didn’t engage in looking back with wisdom, I repeated my behaviors over another twenty-four years. Over the last year, several aha moments resulted in true love and compassion for myself. That’s a total of forty-eight years.
My hope for you is a more direct path toward self-understanding.
Yet, I’ve smiled through it all. The difference today is my smile is filled with joy rather than merely a lifelong coping mechanism.
Gaze Forward with Hope
Before, I used lists and control to examine the past year.
In contrast, my previous twelve months were spent feeling rather than analyzing, which resulted in a culmination of healing that needs no examination. Furthermore, the lists for the coming year also come from feelings.
First, I made a short list of when I feel joy; being in nature, creating, learning, and sharing.
Second, I allowed ideas to flow. These became the core of my New Year plan.
- I love my body with exercise and nutritious foods
- Write from my heart
- Take a chance on painting again
- Explore my local community
- Contemplate a physical gift for the world
Third, the first action steps emerged.
- Downloaded the Cronometer app
- Completed two appointments with a nutritionist
- Setup my AllTrails app
- Downloaded an easy trail
- Visited Grayson Highlands State Park
The Best Part is
Rather than a list of must-do projects, I have broad ideas that can morph into festive activities by checking in through a daily morning meditative practice.
It’s not about whether it is better to look back or gaze forward. Instead, it’s about exploring within to find your joyful uniqueness. This is the basis for a happy life.
With love and compassion,