Yesterday, I got a mammogram. No, this is not a story about my mammogram, but one day I will write the story of what happened during my first mammogram ever. I was forty (which is the typical age when women begin to get mammograms). It was hilarious and tragic all at the same time. Now, I am a mammogram pro.
So, I checked in and was waiting patiently in the waiting room. Generally, nowadays, I strive to wait ‘patiently’ when I have to wait. At some point, in order to insure that my patience did not wear out, I looked around for their magazine selection. I was somewhat stunned and also amused when I saw that every single magazine they had was a Sports Illustrated. I would have thought I was in the “prostate” testing area, but there were all women in the room, and the word “breast” was everywhere.
There were three other women waiting for the exam. One, sitting by herself. Like me, not reading the Sports Illustrated. Two women were sitting kitty-corner from me. They were in deep conversation. One was in her sixties and one in her fifties. They were both very beautiful women and dressed in their Sunday best. The older woman sounded like she was giving the younger woman advice. Really, not trying to eavesdrop, I heard the older woman say, “You have to let go of your past! If you cannot let go of your past, you don’t have a destiny!”
I really thought this was an amazing way to describe the pitfalls of not letting go of the past. I thought about her statement as I was going in for my exam. I thought, ‘I am going to use that!’ As I walked out of the exam, the older woman was sitting right in front of the exam room, at this point, waiting her turn. She gave me a knowing smile. I took that as permission to use her quote!
The message is clear and real and terrifying! If you are looking behind you, you cannot see in front of you. In my life, most people I work with are living their lives from hurts and pains from their past. How many times have I heard, “If I just hadn’t gotten married.”, “If I just HAD gotten married.”, “If I just never had met that person.”, “If I just never had taken that job!”. You get the picture. I am not minimizing the impact our past has on our lives. I am saying that you have a choice every moment to choose to have a happy life.
Here are two more examples:
1. If you were lost in a large city that you did not know, would you ask, “How did I get here?” “Why am I here?” Or, would you ask, “HOW DO I GET HOME?” 2. If you were drowning, would you ask, “How did I get in this predicament?” “What could I have done differently in my past that would have insured I would not be drowning at this point?” Or would you say, “GIVE ME AIR!”
In other words, it is not the most helpful tool to use contemplating your past as a vehicle to get to where you want to be. There is a very clear and direct path given to each person, that leads them exactly where they want to go. In order to find that path, each of us have to ‘let go of our past,’ and start precisely where we are.
DROWNING IN THE MISHAPS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS OF YOUR PAST ERASES THE VISION OF YOUR FUTURE!