“Never Look Back…” – Myth or Truth?

Warrior One Yoga pose

I was in yoga this past week and in one of my classes, our instructor was talking about a particular posture (Warrior I, for my fellow yogis) and she stated, “the leg in front of you represents your future; while the leg behind you, possibly a bit uncomfortable right now, represents your past. Explore that discomfort, breathe into it, then move on.” Of course, I’ve also heard and been told to “never look back, only look forward,” especially in reference to the difficult trauma that was the subject of my book, The Predator Next Door. So, which is it?

Let’s try this: Look at your last 20 years of life experiences, at least the experiences that really stand out. Now “package” those experiences and summarize in one exclamation those experiences. Would it be, “Well, nothing extraordinary there!” Or maybe, “Very nice, right on schedule!” How about, “I wish I could just curl up in a ball and stay there for days – it’s safer.” Or, if you are like me, “Well, holy cow, did all that really happen? Now THAT is a catalyst for inspiration!”

Truth is, I have spent plenty of time curled up in a ball in tears but, once I have cleansed those feelings with a good, cathartic cry, I actually am able to take an honest look at me, who I am today, the Mom I am, the wife I am, the business professional I am, the friend I am and realize MY truth – Yes, bad things happened to me and my family in the past. It hurt, it is still a part of who I am, but it DOES NOT DEFINE ME. Oh, but let’s not stop there – it actually MADE ME STRONGER and helped me see the world and the relationships I have in this world with a much clearer perspective.

In my 50th year, I can honestly say that I am the woman, the SHE, that I am today BECAUSE of the lessons learned in those experiences. I wouldn’t change a thing. You see, it is not those experiences that define you but, rather, it is your reaction to those experiences that are the very essence of you; the very essence of SHE.

Notes from the SHE files: Life is a culmination of moments. Inside of these moments are life experiences. Those are our road maps to future inspiration; those are our catalysts for change.