In the height of battle, we are sometimes wounded. And that can linger both physically and mentally. But we shouldn’t ever feel ashamed of our scars. Each points to a pivotal moment in our journey. Each tells a story of endurance. Each is a symbol of strength. Each marks our triumph against that which tried to pull us back and hold us down. We should feel proud of our scars as much as we are proud of our accomplishments. They make up who we are today. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls.
Many of us struggle with the idea of letting others down. Sometimes it’s the people who raised us or the people who we look up to. Sometimes it’s the people who have helped us out or the people who have been kind to us. We do not want to come across as ungrateful, selfish or inconsiderate. We want to make them proud. But we cannot always be guided by what people think or by what would be best for other people. Sometimes, we have to let them down to pursue what’s best for us. And that doesn’t make us a monster. If those people are invested in us, they will move past it and be happy for us. We can’t always please everyone.
It’s true that we won’t ever be able to move onto the next chapter if we keep re-reading the last one. But we cannot cut the past out of our life, and we shouldn’t have to. Coming to terms with our past can take time. But here are a few times when looking back isn’t all that bad:
- Reflecting on lessons learnt – All the tough times we’ve endured and all the mistakes we’ve made teach us something, and through that, we’ve become more knowledgeable and strong. The lessons of the past are invaluable to how we lead the present and the future. Hold them close.
- Reflecting on turning points – Our life could be plotted as a string of milestones and turning points. Sometimes we need to look back to see how far we’ve come as impetus to keep going. Sometimes we need to look back to see how something we cried over was actually a blessing. Sometimes we need to look back at how much we’ve achieved. Be proud.
- Reflecting on good memories – Although we’re programmed to remember those moments of pain, embarrassment and fear, there are some many more beautiful and joyous moments that we should cherish. Don’t forget them or the people who you created those memories with. Smile because it happened.
In the pursuit of our goals, there’s two broad stages: moving forward and hitting roadblocks, and our focus tends to tip to the latter rather than the former. Of course, it’s important to identify our mistakes and remain flexible to unexpected obstacles, but we need to be careful that we don’t get caught up in a negative cycle of anticipating the worst and becoming our own enemy. We need to also celebrate our accomplishments, including the milestones and not only the finish line. We need to be proud of how far we’ve come, instead of looking at how far we have to go and how far we might fall. Be proud of every victory, no matter how small. Don’t wait and miss out on the celebration.