Free Your Past
I am the oldest of 4 children… well 4 grown adults is the more accurate term now. Our family is highly entertaining to say the least. When we are all together with our parents “extrovertedly enthusiastic” is the best way I could describe us. Collectively, we have never met a stranger!
Now, to know me as a child… that description is far from accurate. Although I was clearly a sharp and sassy fashion icon (the picture doesn’t even do that outfit justice!), I was as shy, quiet and terrified of people as they come. As a baby, I wouldn’t even let family members pick me up. I was a worrisome child at a very young age, and I tended to shy away from anything outside of my comfort zone.
I would take that fear with me through high school and college, although I compensated for that fear with learned extroversion. My mother taught me very early on that I had to branch out of my bubble if I wanted to be successful. This is actually the reason why I began competing in pageants in my early teens. It was an opportunity for me to learn confidence, poise and gain some scholarship money along the way.
Now flash forward to my 30s, and I find I still hold on to pieces of my past. I think we all do to a certain extent. Our past is why we are here in our present. But, our past does not have to be our present. I said “no” to far too many things as a kid and a young adult.
So what changed? When I was diagnosed with PTSD, the trauma I went through felt like a piece of my life died. I lost who I was and with that I lost some of my fear in a more dangerous way. I started saying yes to everything… the wrong things. I found myself years later in this state of confusion and loss, and I had to choose a path. Follow my past or follow God’s presence…
There is a balance I work on now where I focus on freeing my past so I can embrace this present moment. Instead of saying “no” or “yes,” I like to try the phrase “wait.” Let me wait on what is best for who I am now in this moment, and let that person guide my present.