Do you ever find your mind focusing on the mistakes of your past, while your trying to live in the present, but at the same time worrying about what is to come?
Let’s add another layer of complication to the brain battlefield mentioned above.
Do you ever hold someone else captive to their past? Do you struggle with letting it go? Do you always find yourself to be of the mindset that you are always wronged? This hold that you “have” over others is a tough one. I say “have” because you don’t have a hold on anyone but yourself. I say this gently with lots of love. You are adding bitterness to your present as you spend time replaying another’s past in your mind…repeatedly.
The other person has moved on. Maybe they don’t even know why they offended you. Maybe they had their own struggles. Maybe you were wrong. Maybe they are truly NOT kind. Be careful with this one. Can you say that beyond a reasonable doubt from an unbiased perspective? The bottom line here without going much deeper is that forgiving in your heart is freeing for you more than it is for the other person.
Clearly, we all spend enough time beating ourselves up.
If you just said, “YESSSSS!! That is me!” then welcome to the club. If you don’t beat yourself up, either you fall asleep when your head hits the pillow, or you may be reading this from heaven.
The question remains… Why DO we beat up other people?
We teach our children that this is an action of bullying, holding a grudge, not being kind, not allowing others to make mistakes, etc…
Here is the bottom line: As parents, if we are holding everyone around us (self, kids) EVERYONE- to this high level of expectation, our kids are getting that message- LOUDLY and CLEARLY. We may be raising kids who become crippled by failure or at least kids who will not want to share their failures with us because they fear our judgement. Do they hear us criticizing others? Do they hear us criticizing them? Do they hear us criticizing ourselves?
This is not a way for us to live.
We need to see that there is victory in the day. We need to teach our kids that victory is in the day. Everyday. Period. It is a choice to look for it.
I recently read that Ben Franklin wrote his failures down every night in a journal. He practiced this journaling technique so he could work towards becoming the best version of himself.
It doesn’t say in the history book that he wrote down the failures that other people brought to his attention, nor does it say that he used this technique to beat himself up. Simply, he reflected, journaled, and worked every day towards becoming a better version of himself.
If Ben were alive today, you would find him on the TED stage giving an epic TED Talk on Growth Mindset. He strived to learn from his personal mistakes and tried to rise above them. Did he fail over and over? Sure.
Learning from mistakes, doesn’t mean you aren’t going to make them again. It simply means you are a work in progress. So, is everyone else, right?
Everyday can be victorious regardless of yesterday. Kids need to understand RIGHT NOW that they should only embrace the parts of the past that deserve to be held on to. They need to let go of the details and offenses, so they don’t begin doing what adults do so well…rewinding the tapes, playing back our mistakes, or playing back the mistakes of others.
As a mom, most situations in my home include ‘equally guilty, or ‘no one is 100% innocent’ parties.
A lot of aspects of life change as we transition from adolescence to adulthood. The game of who is to blame seems to linger. If I allow myself to play the role of the prosecution, jury, and judge, I am being biased. Of course, I will win ‘the case’….by a landslide.
Our lives are like giant 3-dimensional shapes filled to the top. Having one perspective is a line. A line that will lead you down a flat road. A line is not a shape. We were shaped in God’s image. Shaped. Not shaped into being flatlined into a one-track way of thinking.
We were shaped to discover the plan and purpose for our lives. That giant 3-dimensional shape is filled by our family, friends, dreams, passions, hobbies, school, jobs, events (good and bad), and so many other things.
Until we take our last breath, we need to teach and live, that we can work towards becoming victorious. We can work towards discovering our purpose and plan. Last breath, remember? It is never too late. Just because we hit a certain age doesn’t mean the book ended. I want that book to be written in until the day I die.
Guys, people are going to let us down. I’ve let people down and you have too.
We let ourselves down. We must model for our kids that this is part of life. That is why it is so important that they don’t look to others for their source of happiness or to find their place in this world.
I don’t want the tribe I live with to believe that yesterday’s mistakes are determining factors for their future. I want them to seek to find the victory in the day.
Our kids are going to make mistakes, fail, get into fights with siblings, friends, and even us.
We must STEP IT UP HERE and model for our kids that yesterday is over. They need to learn to rise above so they can soar. This will help them find victory in the day.
Life is too short for victims. Let’s teach them that now!
How do we teach them this? This site https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-curb-your-childs-victim-mentality-1094930 has some good ideas that you could use as a springboard for beginning this process. I found them helpful for my family.
The underlying issue in every given example in the linked article is that we control the way we think, react, use our own self talk, and act. If we teach our children how to take control of their thoughts from an early age, wouldn’t they have a better journey than we did?
We can’t turn back time, but we can model that we can change today. Every day is a new day. I tell my kids that. I am sure a lot of you do too. Why wouldn’t we extend that same grace to ourselves?
If we believe that our sins are forgiven, then we best believe that we must practice that aforementioned expectation while on earth.
That is how you find victory in the day.
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