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Embracing the Past
Shaping the Future

Written & Contributed by Sid Sutton


"Reflecting on my own journey I've come to recognize a universal truth: our past experiences, particularly the painful ones, profoundly shape our approach to fear and our future. It's a lesson learned not just from personal trials but from observing the countless individuals I've had the privilege to lead and mentor. In this piece, I aim to unravel the intricate dance between past hurts and the fears they foster, offering insights and strategies to not only cope, but to thrive in the face of life's inevitable challenges" - Sid Sutton

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Past Hurt: Shaping Our Fear and Future

Language, subtle yet powerful, can either empower or imprison us. The phrases "I could have", "I would have" and "I should have" are more than mere words; they are shackles to regret, anchoring us in a past that no longer exists. They serve no purpose but to cultivate guilt and shame over events we cannot alter.


Reflection:  how often do you find yourself caught in this cycle of could, should, would—both in your internal dialogues and outward expressions?

Consider this: events unfold as they do because they can unfold in no other way. Our nights are restless, our commutes introspective, not with peace but with self-criticism for actions taken or not taken in the past. This relentless self-judgment, even for experiences dating back decades, adds unnecessary weight to our present. Sometimes, even in moments of triumph, we're plagued by "what ifs" instead of basking in well-deserved praise.

Embracing Today: The Power of Letting Go

Releasing the grip of the past opens us up to thrive. Clinging to regrets renders us powerless, victims of our own narratives. Blaming others only deepens this victimhood, blinding us to the vibrancy of the present.

Reflection: if we shared the exact life experiences of another, we might very well make the same choices they did. Bearing this in mind can soften our judgment towards others and, in turn, towards ourselves.

We Are Not Our Mistakes

The stories we tell ourselves about our past are crucial. Empowerment comes from easing up on self-criticism and fostering self-compassion. This allows us to be present, to unwrap the gifts today offers instead of being lost in yesterday's shadows.

Desiring anything other than what is, leads to suffering. The future is uncertain; the past, unchangeable. Embracing acceptance paves the way for creation, for living a life truly deserved.

Reflection: Life is a series of events and consequences. Spilling a glass of water isn't just about the spill—it's about how we respond, how we clean it up. Our perspective on life's events, not the events themselves, shapes our experience.

Changing Perspectives: The Key to Transformation

Consider this perspective offered by Wayne Dyer: "If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change." Viewing circumstances as happening for us, rather than to us, shifts us from a state of victimhood to one of empowerment.

Reflection: While we all face hardships, it's essential to understand that trauma isn't about the event itself but our inability to recover from it. Trauma is our response, not the occurrence.

From Hurt to Healing: Accepting the Past

Accepting our past reduces the weight of history we carry, alleviating the fear that it might repeat itself. Embracing our past lessens our judgment, leading to acceptance, which in turn, lessens our pain.

The future exists only in our minds. Efforts to meticulously plan our lives to avoid past pains often lead us directly into what we sought to avoid. Accepting our past not only enriches our present but also brightens our future prospects.

Reflection: Consider how frequently you judge yourself or others based on past actions. Remember, it's not about eradicating fear but about expanding our capacity to welcome and grow from it. In this growth, we find freedom from the chains of past hurts and open ourselves to a future of possibilities and potential.


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