Have you ever thought “I should have stayed in bed?” Have you ever wanted a ‘Do Over?’
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon how you look at it, you can not change the past. You do have a hand in changing how you deal with the past and how you deal with the future.
You can not stop the birds from flying over you. You can prevent them from making a nest on your head.
I had a discussion the other day with a woman who is dealing with very recent physical, verbal, and economic abuse. She had taken classes about identifying and dealing with abusive behavior. As a result of those classes she was able to successfully leave that abusive relationship. However, because there is a baby on the way, she realizes that there may be a custody battle in her near future. One of her friends agreed to be her new man. Many readers can see red flags, flying at full staff. Unfortunately she does not see the red flags. Sadly, she does not have a healthy loving relationship by which to measure unconditional love.
Years ago a woman asked a volunteer if a certain guy was her boyfriend, to which she replied “Yes”. The woman kept looking over the volunteer. The woman finally asked the volunteer, “Doesn’t he hit you? How do you know that he loves you?
Part of beginning again is having a true solid foundation by which to gauge life and circumstances. Surveyors use benchmarks and carpenters use plumb bobs and levels. Ships use anchors to prevent ship wrecks in storms and ropes and posts to prevent drifting while in port.
The two different domestic abuse victims mentioned above began a journey to find what is missing. They both have learned that they can not change anyone else and that they are only responsible for their own actions and not the actions of others. No person deserves to be abused.
Mental Health and Mental Illness have been in the press a lot lately because of the actions of certain killers who were in search of something that they were missing. Unfortunately instead of dealing with the real underlying issues, people tried to medicate the problem away. Medication might have suppressed or masked the real underlying issues plaguing these killers for a time. Delaying dealing with the issues or masking the underlying issues had the effect of creating a time bomb. Tragically, people died as a result of that living, breathing time bomb that was not properly defused. Mental Illness was not the cause. It was vehicle used and abused by the killers.
What about beginning anew?
Let’s start with each day granted us, as a new dawn. A new date begins just after midnight. This new day has 24 hours in which each one us has not lived before, and in which we are one day older than yesterday. We can choose to do things the same way we have always done before, or learn from what we’ve done and experienced to make this day a little better than the day before. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
No matter how bad yesterday was, today can be different. The change starts with a fresh outlook. You can start by asking yourself what can I do differently today that will change my future?
If you don’t stumble and fall a few times on your way to improving your circumstances, then I would be concerned.
Someone once said that nothing beats a failure but a try.
You may have to learn a lot of this to reach your goal, and that is fine. I don’t know of any third graders who decided to become a teacher then immediately got up in front of a class and taught. Each teacher went through many years of learning experiences, training, and failures to obtain the knowledge making them able to teach.
Set a goal and go for it, beginning anew each day.
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (AZ and MA) and Founder of Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org