The past can be an ugly word. It's riddled with all of our mistakes, mishaps, and embarrassing moments. We often use the word past as a negative remark, as if it's a little monster who lives under our bed. Or, for some of us, our past is no little monster, but a King Cobra ready to strike at any moment, reminding us of the chaos we've either created or lived through.

But, the truth is, the past can help you. Hear me out. I'm as guilty as everyone else, my past decisions have been ridiculous, to say the least. I have made some whopper of decisions that have landed me in heaps of trouble, or worse, heartache. And, some of my past is tainted by the decisions of others, casting shadows of distrust, sadness, and crushing disappointments. Yet, here I am! Happy, fulfilled and bright-eyed about life and my future. Why? Well, because I've learned lots of different secrets along the way. Let me share 3 with you today:


1. Learn to Walk Away

The other day I was walking through the mall looking for my hair salon. Moments before I found the salon I saw a past business partner who betrayed me deeply and caused a lot of pain for myself and my family. This individual took advantage of me and truly taught me a brutal lesson on life, trust, and business; not a fun lesson, I might add. For a slight moment I wanted to run up to him and talk about the good 'ol days and catch up on life and family. I didn't harbor any bad feelings towards this individual, in fact, I quite missed him. But, the other part of me wanted to turn in another direction and avoid him like I do bees (I hate bees, for the record). I chose the second option. I quickly pivoted my feet and swiftly avoided such a confrontation. Why would I want to rehash the past? Why would I want to bring up old emotions, either good or bad? It's unhealthy and unnecessary. When it comes to the past, you sometimes need to be prepared to walk away from it; the people, the job, the circumstances, the life. Like me, you need to pivot your feet and head in a new direction. Trust me, you'll thank me later for it.

2. Learn to Laugh

I tried out for the high school cheerleading team my freshman year. I was a great candidate. I had already done cheerleading at my previous school, I loved it, and I was good at it, but I was at a new school with an entirely different set of classmates. The competition was stiff and I let my nerves get the better of me. During the tryouts I crashed and an awful way. I literally cheered the wrong words and I accidentally ended up rhyming the word "Luck" with an often used curse word I currently favor. The judges looked shocked, a few giggles came from the crowd, and I was mortified. Let's just say, I didn't make the team. Yet, that experience taught me a valuable lesson. It's good to laugh at yourself. I didn't laugh that night, or even for months after the tryouts; but I sure laugh about it now. It serves as a valuable reminder that you can make a critical mistake, like cussing during cheer tryouts, and LIFE goes on.


3. Learn to Love Yourself

Here's the raw truth: YOU ARE NOT PERFECT. No one is, yet we hold ourselves to these ridiculously high standards in looks, personality, job titles, weight, education, family, etc. At my current age, I've learned to love myself in spite of my past mistakes.  I ran into an old classmate a few years ago and she was literally walking in the hypnotized allure of "having it all." She bragged about her life as if it were a job interview instead of a casual run-in. She laid her life out on the table for me, the perfection of it: her marriage, her life, her looks, her money. I listened patiently even though, at that time, my own life was in shambles, I was overweight, and I was counting pennies (seriously) moments before we bumped into each other.  She never asked about me or my life, she only wanted to do a quick "My Life is Perfect" data dump and walk away. Trust me, I was glad I didn't have to talk about my life. But, years later, I learned that her life wasn't as perfect as she made it out to be; not even close. She was stuck competing with her past, and, she wasn't any happier for it.

So, here's the real meat and potatoes of today's blog post. Your past is what created YOU. The awesome, flawed, wonderful, beautiful, silly, crazy, YOU. And, honestly, that's the beauty of your past. You can move on. Life does go on. You can, and must, become everything you are meant to be. So, learn to walk away from you past (people or circumstances), learn to laugh at it (I do this daily!), and learn to love yourself.

God Bless. Until next time my friends.