Staring in the Rearview Mirror Won’t Move You Forward

Rearview Mirror 5

So let’s talk about living in the past! Most people would say that your past is what has inevitably shaped you into who you are. A lot of our defining moments have happened already, long ago, before we ever had a chance to realize that we were being shaped by them. So if you had an ideal childhood with virtually no turmoil whatsoever (which for most people is highly unlikely) then you had one hell of a smooth transition into adulthood and you are lucky. However, if you are like the vast majority of the world then you have had a bumpy road on this journey that we call life and your past is most certainly providing you with so much grit and tough skin.

The past is the past and should always remain there but sometimes it seems easier said than done to leave your past hurts behind too. I struggled with a lot of self-esteem and confidence issues that stemmed from my childhood and while I have made great strides to move past all of it there are still days that literally come out of nowhere, that remind me I’m not completely past it yet. Those are the days where feelings of self-doubt linger and grab hold of me and I start to replay the words my mother would say about me never becoming anything, about me not being smart enough, about me not being good enough replaying in my head. I start to feel the way I felt then and it takes me a minute to get out of that head space.

The past has affected me and had such a hold over my life for much longer than it ever should have and I do believe that it is a major reason why I have not been quite as successful as I should be at this point in my life. But I have resolved that I will no longer be crippled by the living in the past syndrome that had plagued me for so much of my adulthood. I have to consistently remind myself that the past is just that and that what I have built myself up to become is what my focus should be from this point on.

We all have a past that has impacted us but we don’t have to let it dictate how our future unfolds. We can use our past as a tool, a lesson, to learn from and to be motivated by. Our past doesn’t have to hold us back from the success that we are destined for. You couldn’t control your childhood, and your past mistakes have already been made and can’t be changed, but you don’t have to continue to allow your past to control your future. So leave the past where it belongs, in the rearview mirror, behind you!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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I May Have Been Down but I was Never Out

Down but Not Out

So let’s talk about failure! I hate to fail and what’s ironic is that though I hate to fail I seem to be doing a lot of it. Granted, I don’t view everything that has happened in my life as failures but I have failed enough times to make anyone want to just lie down and give up. In fact, I think that a lot of this past year and half long bout with depression was pretty much just that, me being so tired of failing that I just wanted to lie down and accept defeat.

Writing is definitely not for the faint of heart and rejection is a part of the package that comes with this career but sometimes it can feel so jarring to one’s self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. I’ve been shopping my novels around to different agents and while I’ve had some of them ask to see the whole novel, which in itself can be cause to celebrate, in the end I have not been received with the kind of acceptance that I crave and truly thought I was talented enough to get. Logically I know that being rejected by a publisher or an agent is not a personal attack on my abilities but as most of you writers know, your novels tend to feel like your babies and my work is personal for me because I always add a touch of myself into my characters (well my main characters anyway).

But I’m learning, or rather remembering that my failures are not what is going to define my eventual success. In reality, my failures are what is going to propel me forward into my destined prosperity. These are the moments that will build me up and make me stronger so that I can be better and excel further than even I thought possible. I’ve always heard that when we plan, God laughs and he must be really laughing it up at me because since the age of ten I’ve had some pretty big plans for my life and career. I had milestones, in my mind, that I just knew that I was going to hit at just the time I envisioned hitting them, some I even thought I would hit earlier than I expected. I couldn’t have been more wrong and being that wrong is just plain hurtful.

However, if some of those plans had come to pass there would be a lot of other wonderful moments that I wouldn’t have had happen, mainly my daughter being born, and I could never regret her. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be, in many cases, what protects us from a disaster right around the corner. In other cases it can just be the sign to let you know that while you may be going in the right direction, you’re not quite ready just yet. There are lessons in the failures that we go through but sometimes what matters is not the actual act of failing itself but rather what those failures can add to our overall story.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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The Past Is Always Close By, Just Don’t Live There

Don't live in the past

It is true that you cannot live in the past and that you have to learn to put past regrets or hurts aside and move forward for your own sake if no one else’s. It is also true that there are some things that happen in one’s childhood that take its toll on an individual that they sometimes don’t recover from, or at least not quickly. What I can’t stand is when people try and tell you how long it is supposed to take you to get over those moments in the past that hurt you or those things you wish you had never done.

I’ve talked about my childhood many times here and in a way it’s often times therapeutic for me to get some things out that I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about, reason being that there are some with the stance of get over it already. Let me just say that my level of confidence in myself, or lack thereof, is a result of having a mother who not only physically and verbally abused me, but emotionally abused me too. When your mother tells you that you are never going to be anything at some point you actually start to believe it.

When you are a child is hard to dismiss anyone’s criticism of you but when it is the criticism of one or both of your parents then it is damn near impossible to dismiss it. As a child you look to your parents for confirmation, for guidance, and for reassurance. You need them to tell you that you are important, not to just them but to this world that you are in and that if you want to change the world then you have that power to do so. You need them to build your self-esteem up so that you can go out and conquer whatever it is in this world that you want to. When you are not given that it does something to you.

It’s one thing if you can get that guidance from other strong figures in your family but when it just isn’t there it does some damage to what should be your self-esteem. I personally had to build my own self-esteem up and honestly I’m still not completely where I should be yet in my level of self-esteem and confidence. But when people say to me you have to let what your mother did, or rather didn’t do for you go it infuriates me. It’s not that I don’t get that, it’s the fact that they don’t realize that it’s not going to happen with the snap of my fingers.

My childhood pain, the lack of love from my childhood, it’s still there right on my shoulder to smack me in the back of my head every time I start to actually move past it. It’s in that doubt that I feel whenever there’s something that I know I should go for but convince myself that I’m not good enough to go for it. People don’t realize that I didn’t really start to love myself until I was already an adult, with a child of my own, and that I had to build that up by myself.

Yes the past is something that you should not live in and you should most certainly forgive those in your past who have hurt you and done damage that was almost unable to be repaired. However, we all know that your past is a part of you, whether good or bad, it is what molds you and shapes you into being the person you are now, so our past is never truly behind us. It is there to remind us of where we came from, how much we have come through to get where we are now, and more importantly, particularly if it is a painful past, it is there to show us how strong we actually are. We are not who we were in the past, but we most certainly wouldn’t be who we are now without that same past.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
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