(This is an excerpt from my monthly newsletter. Subscribe at: https://tracinicolesmith.com/)
Do you have ghosts from the past?
Well…We all have a “past.” In fact, after each second on the clock ticks, the moment before it is technically, “in the past.” But, typically speaking, when people refer to the past, it is generally a time you that look back fondly upon or something you regret that happened.
We all have those thoughts.
During my adult life, I had thousands of opportunities to make choices, as all adults do. It is a rite of passage to create the life you desire through making small and large (and at times, enormous) decisions. However, there are always unforeseen factors that arise after you have made your choice. These considerations can surface immediately or years later down the road.
Maybe you are like me…Did you ever think something would turn out one way and then it didn’t?
At times, the choices you made have served you well. From start to finish, you received the best outcome you could have ever imagined. What manifested may have even surpassed your wildest expectations. In these cases, you pat yourself on the back and readily bask in the glory.
Moreover, these choices are always reminisced upon in a fond way. With delight, you exclaim, “I am so glad I made that choice. I feel so blessed and lucky.”
Yet, at other times, when unforeseen circumstances rear their ugly head, the outcome may evoke feelings of remorse. The fallout from these choices carries a heavy price.
A planet of regret sits squarely on your shoulder as you lament, ” I don’t know what I was thinking! I don’t know why I made that choice! Why did I do that?”
Let’s face it…. We have even more at stake with larger life choices.
If you order the wrong latte flavor, throwing it away and never ordering again is an easy fix. But, if you take the higher-paying job option and don’t like the actual job once you get settled into it, the process of remedying this situation isn’t as easy as tossing coffee in the garbage.
In essence, the key is to make the best decision you can by using your intuition guided by your heart. Read about the discernment between heart-centered versus mind-based living: https://tracinicolesmith.com/at-the-crossroad/.
When looking back on your decisions, have you always listened to your intuition when making them?
I have been awakened for 26 years. What that actually means is that I have cultivated and embodied a keen awareness that conscious-living through intentionality creates your best life.
Nonetheless, especially when I was in my 20s, I didn’t always stop to take time to tap into my intuition. Besides the fact that having fun with friends and constant partying ranked high on my list of priorities, I also worked full-time while taking a full load in grad school. I was BUSY.
Regardless of the excuses I made to not implement spiritual practices every day, I committed to deepening my understanding of spirituality. I attended seminars, sessions, and read everything I could get my hands on…
Yet, at the same time, it seems counter-intuitive NOT to take time to go within with such a full plate. Ah, the impetuous youth…
Looking back, I wonder what the outcomes would have been if I would have used mindfulness to listen to my authentic self on every life-defining decision I made.
Can you relate to the thoughts of “what if….?”
Even so, with experience and wisdom, I have learned to not judge my past decisions/situations by my present day “self.” This lesson came in many forms, yet, it took years to finally integrate within me. Who I am today is NOT who made that decision, even if the decision was yesterday.
But, the more time that has lapsed between that decision and the present moment reinforces that distinction between “yesterday” Traci and “right now” Traci.
We change and evolve with every moment. Self-forgiveness and acceptance of what is liberates you from being a prisoner of your history. You did the best you could with what you had at the time you made the decision. To learn more about self-forgiveness, read https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindful-anger/202006/healing-guilt-7-steps-self-forgiveness
Give yourself Grace, and trust the unfolding.