No Going Back

No Going Back

By Lindsay Stiegler, MS - Director of Nutrition Coaching

So many times I think to myself - "If I could just go back and do that again…". Well, that's not an option.

There are things, moments, times in my life that I wish I could do again.  Some I wish I could do-over and pick a different ending.  Some that seemed to have been so great that I want to just stay in that moment in time and relive it over and over again.

However, we can't.  This is the beauty of life.  We can't do any of it over again.  We make choices; we take chances.  We can look back and think, "had I only known then, what I know now".

But, would you know now if you hadn't made the choice then?  Would you be who you are now had that experience not enriched you, wounded you, or inspired you?

Life is in the learning - Sometimes it is the hard lessons, sometimes the great lessons, and sometimes just the simple lessons.  Sometimes we don't learn from something until many years down the road, and then it pops up and you think - "oh, now I get it". But, you can't change it.

So, how do you learn from it?

Here are a few thoughts on how to move forward, while looking back to check in:

  1. Remember, both the positive AND the negatives from the experience.  It's often easier to just look back at an experience and remember the bad, negative moments, associated with it.  We seem to live in a society where it is easier to be negative than positive.  How many books have you seen titled, "How to be More Negative/Sad/Unhappy?".  We are already really good at this.  So, when a past moment pops up that feels really yucky  - ask what was good as well as what was bad.  Carry the good forward, remember the negative, and learn from both.
  1. Think of the person you were, the circumstances in your life at that time, and remember why you made the decision you did.  Often times we forget that the person we are now is not the person we were at the time.  Most likely, you were making the best decision you could, for yourself, with the tools that you had, at that present moment in your life.  We try to not judge others (though that is also human nature).  Try not to judge you.  Maybe you were emotionally in a bad space.  Maybe you were acting in survival mode.  Maybe you were really happy and not thinking totally clearly.  Any of those reasons would have affected your future choices.  And, maybe at this time in your life you wouldn't have made the same choice, but you aren't now who you were then.
  1. Ask yourself what in your life would be different had you NOT made that choice.  And again, let yourself look at both the positive and negative.  Who in your life may might you never have met?  Experiences you may have never had (good and bad). Lessons you may have never learned.
  1. Take inventory.  Thank yourself.  And forgive yourself.  Perhaps the hardest part, in any relationship including with yourself and with others, is the ability to forgive.  Being able to forgive yourself and say, "Thank you for that lesson", can be very difficult.  But, if you are beating yourself up for something that happened in the past, you are not letting yourself be open to the positive outcomes of the decision and you won't be able to move forward into your future.

It's hard to look back at our past, at our road that brought us to this present moment.  Especially if in the present moment we are struggling - emotionally, financially, and/or physically.  All kinds of present barriers may be a result of past choices.  However, we have to keep our eyes forward.  We can look back and reflect - but, we have to always pick up our baggage and carry it with us to our next destination.  It is always going to be a part of our journey.