60,000-79,999 SparkPoints 61,632

What does your past mean to you?

Thursday, December 05, 2013

"My past does not define me."

I'm sure you've all come across this quote at least once. I, personally, loved it the first time I read it on an inspirational poster and made it my motto back then. But while on this life-changing journey towards a healthier life, I started to change my mind. We are all too eager to forget about our past actions sometimes. But do we really want to "renounce" our past so easily and pretend that all the things that we feel sorry for, disappointed or ashamed by actually never happened? We might want to reconsider...

Our past is inhabited by mistakes and failures. Of course there are successful and happy moments in it, too, but they tend to be overshadowed by the most powerful memories, of the things that keep on nagging us and we still strive to hide from ourselves and forget. Promises to ourselves that we never kept, goals that we failed to reach even though we could swear we did our best, dreams we left unfulfilled without even trying to realize them and mistakes that we didn't try to correct because we couldn't even admit to ourselves that we actually made them. These are some of the things because of which we'd want our past to disappear. But if we just rename all these things that make us feel bad, we could see them from an entirely different point of view. And our perspective on our past would be completely new and much more positive.

Broken promises, forgotten dreams, uncorrected mistakes and failures?

No. They were just lessons.

So, let's start over with this.
Our past is inhabited by lessons. Valuable information on understanding ourselves better and useful tips on how to work towards fixing things we don't like about us, our character, the way we handle things and the way we live. Forgetting about the actual facts that led us to a mistake or a failure is the easiest way to repeat the same mistake or failure again and again. In school, we revise lessons once in a while to ensure we have learned everything we need to know. In life, things work in the same way. Past actions - our valuable teachers - have to be revisited from time to time to ensure we've learned our lessons.

My past does not define me. But it defines who I can be. I may not be the same person who failed or made mistakes that I'm not too proud of. But I can be much better and much more successful because of these past mistakes.

Now give a name to all those things in your past that you'd like to erase and "undo". What was it? 100+ unsuccessful attempts to lose weight? No! 100+ lessons on what works for you and what doesn't. Revise them, learn more about yourself and use your knowledge on your next attempt. You're wiser and with much more chances of success.

As the famous inventor once said:

He succeeded in the end.
You can, too.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a wonderful, "blue ribbon" blog!
    Lessons of our past can turn out to be --treasures.
    Thank you sincerely for posting this wisdom.
    1529 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Edison was a strange cat. Home schooled and more. What a mind though!
    1530 days ago
    Love the reframing. Problems aren't problems, they are opportunities to try something new. Thanks for a great, thought-provoking blog.
    1533 days ago
    Failure isn't permanent -- and it helps so much to recharacterize it as "lessons". Wonderful blog.
    1533 days ago
    I cannot say that I disagree with you. I would have used different wordage, but you did state very valid reasoning not to just toss the baby out with the bath water.
    1533 days ago
    This is a wonderful lesson, Elle. We've all got negative stuff in our past, but like you said, it's not necessary for us to forget about it. Not only can we learn from it, but we're also shaped by all of our past experiences, good and bad.
    1533 days ago
    So true!!! It is a lesson but does not dictate me.
    Great words my dear!
    1534 days ago
    Great blog my friend! Thank you!
    1534 days ago
    Great blog. Thank you for sharing. We sure can learn from our past and never give up. In Japan, we said " fall 7 time get up 8 "
    emoticon emoticon
    1535 days ago
  • GINA180847
    Very inspirational blog. I must take that to heart in my life.
    1535 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Great blog! emoticon
    1535 days ago
    I could not agree more! Had I not made the mistakes I did in the past I would not be who I am NOW! I certainly could not be as compassionate and caring as I am. Every failure and every success led to where I am now - and I LIKE the me I've become. So while I forgive myself for those mistakes, I will never regret the lessons they taught me!
    1535 days ago
    I love your blogs, Nuovaelle! You put a lot of thought into them. I don't think our pasts should define us, but it is funny how it keeps creeping back into our lives - not to be denied.

    Your right that our pasts are nothing more then lessons learned. I think learning about ourselves and who we really are is soooo difficult; for me at least. I get little glimpse here and there every once in a while to be chased after, caught, and honed until I have another piece of the puzzle that will define the best of what I am meant to be.


    1535 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    What a great blog Elle! Thanks so much for writing this and for sharing it with us all! LOVE it!!

    1535 days ago
  • KANOE10
    That is a great blog. That is the positive focus. Use the lessons of the past to achieve success in the future.

    1535 days ago
    emoticon Thank you -- I've been fortunate to have had many lessons to learn from in my life...and new (sometimes different) ones almost every day.
    1535 days ago
    That is brilliant. I love this blog, I love your message, thank you. There is no failure, only me feedback.
    1535 days ago
    Our pasts do not define us but they inform what we can become. We can choose to drag our failures around like a ball and chain, or absorb them, become wiser and move on. Have you ever mentally tried to rewrite the bad things out of your past to see what your life might have been like? When eliminating those bad things you also eliminate the good ones. If I had never married my first husband (what a disaster that was!) I never would have had my three wonderful sons. Wisdom, alas, cannot be solely learned from others. It is a product of experience, ALL experience, both good and bad.
    1535 days ago
    emoticon thank you!
    1535 days ago
    Great blog!! This is a journey of self-discovery, isn't it?
    1535 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by NUOVAELLE