Life can be hard at times, unwanted events may happen to you, you may experience difficulties in your relationships and with loved ones, health or financial challenges may appear unexpectedly. These events are what we call life.
But they will be memories one day. Memories of how many difficult situations you overcame, of how powerful and resourceful you were, of how successful in going through challenging times you were, of how good things can be found in so-called bad things.
You have lived through a lot of difficult moments, I know. I have, too. You have scars. They have healed, but you have not forgotten the events, the feelings, the facts, the battles you fought. But you should.
Memories are just that, recollections of the moments, of things that don’t belong to your present, to the moment of now, where you have an opportunity to build new and better memories. What if you could look at your past in a different way?
I’ve had so many conversations with clients and people I met about their past. I’ve heard sad stories, difficult childhood moments, details of physical and emotional abuse, bad relationships, terrible divorces, trauma… and so much more. But what I have told everyone who has openened their heart to me is that it doesn't matter what you went through. You cannot change it, and it is for sure part of your story, of who you are, but it shouldn’t determine how you live today, because you are much more than your memories and experiences.
If you must hold onto a memory, it would be better to choose a happy moment, an uplifting one, a moment of achievement, of gratitude and appreciation, of shared Love, of laughter. Everything is stored in your mind, like a giant hard drive. Your mind is not very different from a computer, but it has something very powerful and important that your computer’s software does not include: Imagination!
You can build your life with the power to create from your imagination. There is no need to live in the past if you can live a reality that you can create. Believe me, it is possible. The only problem is that maybe you don’t know how to use it in your favor, yet.
Imagination needs your collaboration, your clarity, your focus, your intention, your elevated emotions, your fun, your engagement, your enjoyment. You need to Love the process of creation of your life and to stop living by the old programming that you (or someone else) installed in your mind’s computer.
What if the life you want exists in a pattern of possibilities called future? What if the future is not as far away as you imagine? What if your imagination is a much more powerful tool for creation than the memories of your past that keep you stuck? What if with a bit of guidance you, and only you, can create the memories of the future you want to live? Give it a try.
I know what you are thinking right now. I can even see your face while you read these lines. Yes, sure, Judith, it sounds like a good idea, but how do I do it? To start, write a list of all the good reasons you give to yourself to continue living the same way, your excuses for not changing what you don’t want in your life, or whatever doesn’t work, and your fears of failure, or of not being good enough. Take the list and make a conscious decision, a commitment with yourself, to overcome the written items, one by one. Do it right now!
I know what you are feeling and thinking because I went through it. Your mind can create powerful statements such as: it is not for me (this means “I don’t deserve it”), it is too late, (“I am too old to change”), this will change (“time solves everything”), I will do it (“tomorrow always seems a better day to start”), this is the life I have (“I don’t have the need to change”), this is what I can do (“I don’t have power”), I don’t have a choice and I have to keep going (“I am very responsible and I need to sacrifice myself and my life”), I don’t know what I want (“I prefer not to think about these things”)…
When you make your own list, you will see that all the sentences you say to yourself can be grouped in some categories: fear of the unknown, lack of Love for yourself, or procrastination and self-sabotage. Just answer yourself one question: until when are you going to live in the world of past memories and experiences? Maybe is time for a new present and future, don’t you think? Take action.
"To design the future effectively, you must first let go of your past"
Charles J. Givens
We have had lots of life experiences that we have not wanted to accept. Loses, so called `mistakes’, break ups, unforgivable events, abuse, arguments, disagreements, pain, and so much more. But they happened, they were real, and we cannot change them, but we can, at least, accept them. Acceptance will allow you to look to the future with more freedom. Stop looking only through the rear mirror, and look at the wonderful view in front of you, while you drive through the journey of your life.
There are people that think that to accept means to be weak, or that they cannot forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it. But in order to live your life in the present, this life that is real and happening for you at this exact moment, you must be here and now. You cannot be present if you only live in the past, in past experiences, in past feelings, in past grudges, in past resentment.
To let go, to release, or to forgive, are learnable skills. They are necessary for your survival. If you carry all these weight from the past, you will move slowly, with difficulties, and your life-journey will be much more unpleasant than if you walk through life weightless and free to enjoy every moment of it.
You need to accept the life you have in order to be able to create the life you want. What this means is that you can only create new circumstances, change, thrive, and become who you want to be, when you accept what is happening in your life now.
Doing it doesn’t have to generate guilt. You don’t have to blame yourself, to feel guilty. You don’t need to have a poor opinion of your choices, or to be a victim of the circumstances, or of your past. You only need to accept who you are, in a loving and compassionate way, offering yourself the understanding and kindness you would show a loved one.
Start planting the seeds of your new life and wonderful future. Nothing stops you from creating a life that contains what you want and deserve. Only you can sabotage your efforts, life is on your side. If you want something, you must become what you want. No Love can enter a closed heart. No abundance can arrive to those who feel they don’t deserve it. No health can be restored if we don’t pay attention to the needs of our body. Change starts with awareness and understanding and it happens with acceptance.
Live with acceptance and not for acceptance. We are subject to the opinions and expectations of those around us. We live our lives fulfilling roles. We want to be the best employees, managers, parents, children, partners, friends, or neighbors. We sometimes achieve our goal at a cost. We have internal expectations of what all of those roles imply, and in order to be that person that we want to be, to fulfill that role perfectly, to demonstrate our Love to others and to be accepted by them, we stop loving ourselves in the process.
What we need to have a happier life is self-acceptance, not the acceptance of others. They are not walking through life wearing our shoes. No matter how much they know us, they cannot live our lives for us. You can create a new life: a life of pleasure, of abundance, of happiness and fun. We live our life overworked, in busyness, and without time to reflect, take care of ourselves, or make the best decisions. Nowadays all happens fast, and we may feel stressed and tired. Just pause, appreciate your life, and take some time to accept.
"When you invoke the agent of change called acceptance, you must accept all that you are,
all that you've been, and all that you will be in the future"
Let go of the need to control every aspect of your life. Allow your life to unfold. Release your expectations, and focus on the larger vision of your existence. Let go of your life’s plan and consider that maybe the Universe can create a plan that is better than yours.
You don’t need to be perfect, and you cannot expect life and others to be. But you can rely on the idea that things are unfolding perfectly in your life. No matter what it looks like, they truly are. Let go of your tendency to worry excessively. It is not helping you to achieve your goals. It is doing just the opposite. It is not allowing you to enjoy the journey, to savor the waiting.
Don’t worry about making mistakes. Don’t suffer in anticipation of errors. Follow your inner wisdom and allow yourself to be guided by the Universe. Tune into your intuition. Don’t judge the result of your actions as right or wrong, good or bad, just observe in the present moment. Don’t force anything. Life becomes easy when you are in alignment with life’s natural timing.
Live your life without the need of having everything in perfect order and exactly the way it is designed in your plan. Leave some room for the unexpected, don’t be rigid. Don’t analyze everything, don’t be anxious. It is good to have a plan to arrive where you want to go, but you don’t need to know exactly how to arrive there. Focus instead on getting clarity about what you want to happen in your life, the big picture.
Don’t think about what can go wrong, don’t worry about what might happen in the future. Instead, expect the best to come into your life. Use all your energy to visualize the positive results of your actions. Imagine and feel that what you want to achieve has already happened. Live now as you want to live your life in the future. Engage all your energy in this process.
Have a positive attitude. Love your life and be grateful for what you have. Rely on yourself and in the Universe. Feel confident and safe. Life has many blessings for you. The future is yours, an unfolding of the positive and magnificent present. You must believe it!
"As someone who has faced as much disappointment as most people, I've come to trust not
that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way"
Let it go, stop carrying it inside you. You travel through life with so much stuff within yourself, lots of unprocessed emotions such as sadness, grief, shame, anger, frustration... the list can be so long. Each of us has our own combination of events and experiences that affected us and still live inside us. A lot of what happened to you has been forgotten, or it is even unconscious (you are unaware of it), but it does not matter, it runs you and affects your life with a strong power. It is important for you to let go of what is not serving you anymore.
The same way you take a shower to clean your body, you should find a way to clean your emotional body, to quiet your mind, and to give peace to your heart. These unresolved, unprocessed, and even the not expressed emotions and thoughts, affect your life. Maybe you believe that you have overcome all of it, or that it was not as important, or that time will help you to cope with it. It may seem like this, but it is not true.
Some of the things you did not say because you did not want to argue or upset another person, or the occasions when you could not say what you thought or felt because the other person was more powerful than you, like a boss, a parent, or any other authority figure, remain in your system. If you accumulate so much and never free yourself of it, your physical body gets affected, stressed, and you can become sick.
We tend to please others, especially because we want their Love and acceptance. Sometimes you may be afraid of the consequences of saying what you really believe, and decide not to do it and keep it to yourself. Exactly at this moment you stop being your authentic self. There are moments when you may be afraid of losing the Love of someone, or being abandoned, and you conform yourself to a situation and become small. In some cases, you may not know how to set up boundaries, and others pass your limits and abuse you. How many times have you experienced any of these scenarios?
Don't be afraid of looking inside yourself. I invite you to do some inner work. You may think that you don't need to, but all that is happening in your inner world is affecting your reality. It will be very difficult to change your circumstances, not to say impossible, if you don't change what is happening within you. Inside yourself, you will find all the pain stuffed, but also all your potential and creativity; you will be able to know the real you, and to connect with your intuition. You will discover yourself and reconnect with your source of Love, Self-Love, and find the joy and happiness that you seek and deserve.
"Sometimes you just have to let go of the old and trust that something better is going to take its place,
even if it's scary to face change and the unknown"
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.