Not long ago, I was sitting in seat 15A on a small jet on a runway in Portland, Oregon waiting for takeoff. Only moments before the door closed, a woman dressed in a business suit hurried down the aisle and sat down next to me. We exchanged pleasantries as she got herself settled, and while the plane was taxiing down the runway, she asked what I did for work.
“What’s your book about?” she asked after I confided about the project I was working on with my friend entitled Let My Legacy Be Love. However, as I described how sharing my personal stories of tracing adult issues to childhood hurts had profoundly changed my life, her expression pulled into a deep frown. “That all sounds very nice, Christina, but do you share your analysis of your stories?” I was more than a little excited when I answered, “As a matter of fact, sharing my analysis in the form of a ‘discovery’ after each story is the point of the book!”
I’m analytical by nature, so I enjoy considering the events of my life. Yet I have been cautioned that I shouldn’t look back; that I should leave the past in the past because the future is a brave new world filled with opportunity. I agree with that, but I also believe that we can learn from our mistakes.
Many people believe that the past is scary; that it’s a shadowy place filled with disappointments, hurts and heartbreak as well as events and experiences that cannot be undone. Yet at the same time, those same people may unknowingly carry those shadows along in a myriad of forms. For instance, recently a friend shared the story of a difficult relationship with her sister. As we chatted, my friend (let’s call her Sammie) confided that she had been very sick when she was born. Her mother was required to give Sammie all her time and attention. Her sister, who was four at the time, had been traumatized by losing the attention of her parents to this sick little interloper. Now, well into adulthood, the sister continues to carry anger at Sammie. It seems silly, doesn’t it? But Sammie’s sister is dead serious. She unknowingly continues to hold on to the trauma caused by losing the attention of her parents during those formative years.
You can change your life when you look at past experiences with fresh eyes. It takes introspection, a desire to be better, kinder, and more loving toward yourself and others. It also takes the willingness to be open to looking at past events in your life from a whole new perspective.
Where can you start? What story might you be hanging on to that is holding you back from leading a happier more fulfilled life? If you’d like, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your story. If it’s something you’ve worked through, let me know that, too. I’d like to start a “Success” blog where I share the stories of healing. Healing is vital, so it should be congratulated!
Healing ourselves is our greatest gift to future generations. Let our legacy be love!