Looking back only slows you down

 Today has been one of those days where I know I want to write, but I am struggling to decide what to write about. So many topics are circling my mind. I feel led to write about prayers being answered & being able to view people without judgement. However, the reason for this is a very personal story that I am not sure I’m ready to share yet.

That being said, I believe I will write about something that crossed my mind last month. I saw a post today that sort of reminded me of this fleeting thought I’d had & I’d like to try to elaborate on it & see where I’m led. The original thought was:

Looking back only slows us down, giving those behind us a chance to catch up or even pass us.

Why do we waste so much time focused on what other people do & neglect our own work? If we put half as much effort into striving for our own goals as we do worrying about where others are on their journey, we would be miles ahead of where we are at. It is okay to examine, or study, the practice of another individual on a similar path to ours. There may in fact be things to be learned, tips to be shared. But we can not dwell on this for too long & forget to continue our own work. This gets us nowhere.

Same thing goes for living in the past. You cannot constantly relive your mistakes, or even triumphs, if you want to keep moving forward towards you goals. You must look past the finish line & focus on the prize. If you only direct your gaze to your end goal, you will surely slow down before you get there, as soon as you get it in sight. However, when you set your eyes beyond the finish line, you blow through it & continue on to bigger & better things. Don’t just stop when you reach one goal. As you get close to one, set a bigger goal, farther in the future.

The more time that is wasted looking back, or comparing your pace to others, the less time there is to be spent moving yourself forward. No two journeys are the same, though the paths may be similar. No time frame is right or wrong, but customized entirely by you. Don’t worry about your competitors or shame yourself for being slower than you’d like. Just focus on what you can control, put in the work, & look forward, past where you want to be. I’m sure you’ve heard the old phrase “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” This is yet another quote that I believe holds value. Dream big. Set realistic goals, but as you work towards them & they begin to come into sight, set a new one. Never stop growing, never stop improving. Never look back, or even around you. This will only slow you down, & while you are slowing down, your opponent, who has kept their eyes on the prize will be passing you. Keep your focus on your future. Reach for what you want. ❤

Learning to Let Go

Letting go is becoming all I know. I am learning to surrender to circumstances I cannot control. I have often told others to let go of things they can’t control. Tell them not to let it affect them, just shake it off or ignore it, it will only add stress to your life. Yet, this is a practice that I have struggled to put into place for myself. 

For years I have let guilt, shame, & fear rule my life. I cared so much about how I was viewed by others. I constantly degraded myself for not pleasing everyone, not realizing how many people actually did appreciate me. I was too concerned with those who didn’t care for me that I took for granted people who were grateful to have me in their life. The ugly truth of the matter is that you will never successfully satisfy everyone you come into contact with. It’s impossible. Think about it. If Jesus couldn’t do it, neither will you be able to. Hate to burst your bubble. #SorryNotSorry This realization was highly enlightening & freeing for me. I began to feel lighter. The burden of others’ negative opinions was no longer a gorilla sitting on my chest. I started to notice more positive things about myself & wonder why I wasted so much time trying to impress people who deserve to posses no portion of my attention. 

Time was my worst enemy. I judged myself & based my level of “success” on what I had or had not accomplished up to this point in my life. I hated the fact that I am 28 years old & still haven’t found a spouse or even someone to be in a relationship with. I was angry for having still not posted my poetry, most of which has never been read, in some form of book. I couldn’t stand the fact that I found myself back in school & have yet to start my career. I felt my  body clock ticking on having a child, especially given I only have one ovary. Just to be clear, I believe finding a husband comes before having a child, & thus I felt even more pressure in that area of my life. I felt myself aging, using my schedule & exhaustion as an excuse to refrain from exercise, but the reality is that I had such low self esteem that I wasn’t motivated to take care of my body because I didn’t believe it deserved to be treated or look any better than my mental state. 

I was recently reminded how important it is to take care of yourself. To set goals, break them down, & work towards them. Set target dates to accomplish these mile markers & reward yourself when you reach your ultimate milestone. My buddy recommended a book for me to read & a specific journal to help me break down my goals & work on increasing gratitude in my life. I will admit, I have not committed as much time as I should have to these materials, or at least not as much as I would have liked to. & I am certainly still figuring out how to utilize them. Yet, even this slight inspiration has made a world of difference in my life thus far. Three weeks ago I was in a very dark place! & I had been in that place for a few months. I thought I hid it well, but of course my mother saw right through it all. In fact, she is the main reason I noticed how much better I am feeling these days. She pointed out last week what a change she has seen in me, my whole demeanor. She used the term “fighter” to describe me & that gave me a new sense of power. I realized for the first time that I am making positive strides. I am cutting negative ties, setting goals, & working towards the future I want for myself. It is an immensely good feeling to realize that you genuinely ceased to care about the opinion of others who have belittled you & suffocated you for so long, when they are going nowhere themselves. 

I had once heard someone say that it is easier for someone to pull you down from a chair than you to pull them up onto it. It finally clicked with me that I had been letting others pull me down for so long. I am no longer letting that happen. I may not be able to pull them up to my level with me, but I am certainly not looking down anymore. I am vowing to only heed the wisdom of those more driven than myself. I’m not waiting for the new year to start my resolution. I can’t change the past & I won’t worry about the future. I will trust God’s timing, knowing that it is perfect & it is absolute. It is not relative to what I want, but I have to make moves to make it happen. You can’t expect things to happen if all you do is sit & wait. 

PSA: Check out the book my pal recommended for me (link below)

“Own the day, Own Your Life” ~Aubrey Marcus ❤