Thursday, August 2, 2012

Building from the Past

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled Memory Lane.  In that blog I discussed creating a timeline of your life and then listed some questions you could ask yourself about that timeline in order to learn and grow.  

My heart was warmed this morning when a prior participant posted the following on their FaceBook page:  "living in the now ... Only bring the past if you are going to build from it!"  Exactly!!

And I am still learning that.  I think we all are!  It's so easy to get stuck in the past and stay there or be held back by it.  I think it's come clear to you readers throughout my blog that I have a pack-ratty tendency.  Those who know me well are saying in exaggerated mock surprise "No!!!!  Really???"  OK, OK, I get it!

Part of that pack-ratty tendency is a way of clinging to the past.  I never really thought about it that way, until I started reading a book called "Organize for a Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life", by Susan Fay West.  So far this is an excellent book!  There is one quote from it that really struck me.  (OK, actually there are several and I'm not done with the book yet, but I'm only sharing one!)  

"Who are you becoming?  What is this new chapter going to be about - and, therefore, which of your belongings will you carry forward?  Surrounding yourself with things that support your move forward, rather than drag you down, or keep you in the past, is key."

Wow, makes me think about my belongings in a whole new way.  Are the things I have and keep and surround myself with things that are going to help push me forward in my life and help me grow or are they things that are going to hold me back and keep me stuck?  Or are they just in the way because they are no longer useful in the life that I envision for myself?

I always thought of preparing for the future in terms of habits and thoughts and actions, but never thought much about things.  Hmmm....  It's eye-opening to me.  

So, now, I need to look at my things and ask "What is helping me to live in the now, like my sweet friend?  What is helping me build a bridge from my past to my future?  And what is in the way?"

Let's pare it down and own less!  After a long and painful move from one household to another, and having pared down and pared down and pared down some more, I see that I still have a long way to go.

photograph of dog running with tennis ball in mouth
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What about you?  What are you bringing forward from your past?  Is it something you can build on or is it something that is getting in your way?

Need some Bible back up?  Check out Hebrews 12:1.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

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