Everyone of us has a past, that is a fact! For that matter you have some people that are running from theirs or are trying to escape it. Then you have the flip side that don't have, shall we say, such a checkered or troubled past, just ordinary so too speak. No matter what the deal is with your past there are some things you need to be aware of when trying to start a new chapter of your life. When I am talking about a new chapter that could be any number of things from new relationship, new job, new friends or organizations, seriously anything.
First thing you have to remember is the past is behind you, it is what you have done. It is what you know and in retrospect it is 20/20. Meaning you can see it perfectly. Next thing you have to remember is that the past is immutable and unchangeable, it cannot be reworked or rewritten. The unfortunate thing is it is the gauge upon which most people measure their future happiness and direction from. The problem with that is we have a tendency as human's to rationalize and objectify past relationships. This can greatly interfere with starting a new one, but we will cover that later on. The third thing is there is a reason why it is called a past. Seasons change, people grow and behaviors that once were prevelant mutate or morph as we grow and learn. Fourth, as we grow, learn and change a learned habit or behavior has changed, morphed or was left behind for a reason. Look closely why you stopped doing something, carefully because you may find there was a reason or motivating factor that brought on the change, and guess what that reason is probably still there. Fifth, it is impossible to go back and recreate certain likable aspects of your past because no two moments, situations or people are ever going to be the same and you run the risk of destroying the tenuous path you built to lead your forward. Sixth, you cannot live in the past! Time, circumstances, situations, players will change of course they have too. As was stated earlier no two moments will ever be exactly the same. Plus, trying to stay in the past hinders you from ever moving forward. Past drama and baggage will surely trip you up and weigh you down. That added weight clouds your judgement and impairs your vision. It is sad but true for every new beginning there has to be an ending. Accept that and move one. Leave the past where it is. A good rule of thumb to consider how far forward can you possibly move if you are looking backward? If you're fixated on your past you will be rooted where you are at and cannot move anywhere. If you aren't moving you become stagnate. You cannot learn, you cannot grow and further yet you cannot experience anything. Take it as a sign the past is a dead end, a road once traveled that has reached an end. Learn from it, use as a map or blueprint, a learning tool, for where to place your feet on the road ahead. Look at the past pitfalls, potholes, detours and signposts so you don't run afoul, but keep it moving forward. In other words, use it as a guide, learn from your mistakes, forgive what has come before, but don't forget lest you repeat them and crash.
Along with everyone's past comes a whole host of things. For one thing there are rewards and consequences for the choices you have made. It is unfortunate that not all actions and consequences are immediate. Some things are slow and creep up on you, and you have to be ready to answer or atone for them. Trust me everyone's past come back to bite them in the end. You cannot change or avoid them forever. For those that have a bad or checkered past you may never truly escape the judgement's and persecution that haunt you for what you have done. It may even be impossible to return to the place of your past and ever succeed. You might very well find your forward path is blocked and forever closed. An example if you will. A friend of mine has tried so hard to make a positive change in his life. He has left Atlanta and returned home to regroup, retool and hone his skills and focus. On several occasions has tried to return to Atlanta and has been unsuccessful thus far. Now, background and insight, though he has gone home, taken advice and has launched a very successful career. He is human and has made some fatal mistakes at each and every possible return. Let's look closely at the situation, careful to observe and understand then we will tell you how all of this can be changed for his benefit. Over the past eight years or so my friend entered deeper and deeper into the drug culture of Atlanta, the party circuit, that I myself was a major player and purveyor of. He built a reputation of being belligerent, violent, stubborn, weird and psychotic at times. Rumors, innuendo, and tales of his exploits soon preceded him every where he went. His reputation became one of that of a thief, a liar, a cheat. He fed into that with his temper time and time again, fights would occur people got hurt, police had to be involved, etc. Once a reputation precedes you it is very hard to change people's opinions and minds. Innocent gestures, meaningless actions are silenced by the deafening roar of the past. You're discounted as having changed before you can even demonstrate you have. Nothing you say will be heard only dismissed out of hand, it seems pointless and frustrating. How can you change all of that?
How can you stage a return? Become triumphant? And demonstrate you have indeed changed? The answer is simple really, you must first understand what you are up against. Really open yourself up, search deep within yourself. Be brutally honest, understand and acknowledge your past. Be willing and able to reap what you have sown, be strong enough to weather the coming storm, because it will come! You must realign your life toward your focus and your goals. Then you must shift your life 180 degrees, what once was in the open now becomes guarded and private. You must change your habits, your friends. You must be selective and choose who and what you allow to be near to you. You must let your work, deeds and actions speak for themselves. Become almost reclusive and secretive. Create and air of mystery, never showing weakness or lack of focus. Change your routine, and if you can openly embrace the tide of skepticism, innuendo, show strength of purpose, passion and conviction in the face of detractors and doubts. If you can break those habits that people expect to see, and if you can't then hid them so well that no one will ever see. In order to break the past you mush show or project a clean break. I am fond of saying a change of scenery and friends maybe what it takes. You create a new persona, a public face that is what everyone will see, you guard that jealously and protect it at all costs. This is what you will become. Turn away those that would tear you down. Cut them from you. You must maintain at all times a united unbreakable front. Let your passions and actions be your words, your platform.
Those from your past will talk, they will jeer and try to bring you down. You must become the master of spin and damage control. Negative publicity can always be turned around and spun to have a positive light. Embrace your past, acknowledge your failings, but show you have risen above them, defeated them and have made a change. Don't run from those things make them work for you! Remember everyone is a sucker for a hard luck story, people always root for the underdog. Your career must take precedence, you must curb your personal feelings and your inner need for gratification, turn your addictions into the drive and motivation you need to propel you forward. Never forget where you came from but keep it moving forward. Give back to the community be charitable and comfortable to acknowledge what you have come through. Show how you rose above what you were and how you triumphed over it. Own it, rule it, once you can do that, it can no longer hurt you. Be candid and open, know in your heart that once it is out there under the spotlight of public life and the intense scrutiny that will follow that it can no longer hurt you, it could possibly benefit you in the long run. Remember that in darkness and shadow deceit and misconceptions grow, and from that darkness can erupt a tidal wave of past misconduct that can pull you under if you aren't ready. Live in the light and keep it right and you will have nothing to fear! You must be brave and suppress your insecurities, because those are the two biggest things that will hold you back and keep you from taking the risks necessary to carry you to the next level.
So what have we learned? How can we be triumphant and dispel the myths, misconceptions, preconceived notions that linger from our checkered past? That to move forward we must make a change, understand that our entire life is up for scrutiny and review. Create a public facade that you want the world to see. Break the mold and the habits that hold you in place. Admit your faults, embrace your differences. Become focused on your career and goals, change those you hang with. Be compassionate with your detractors, show how you rose above your addictions and limitations, cast them in the light of victory. Show how you beat the odds that were stacked against you and that you truly have learned from your past. Be a role model, give hope, courage and love through example. Actions speak louder than words! Remember your roots and be gracious. Put everything in the light keep nothing hidden. Keep it moving forward, be guarded and careful of who you let into circle. Do what you do! Be who you are and you can't fail. Make sure your goals are attainable and reachable. Be a leader not a follower. Know your voice and your message, defend those who can't defend themselves, embrace and be passionate about a cause that is greater than yourself. You are a champion, you have overcome and demonstrated it at every turn. Be fierce and proud, don't be afraid to speak out loud!
You will know beyond a shadow of doubt that you have then made the transition, you have become that public face. Never run from your past because you can never out run it. You can never hide from it either. Remember "What's mead to be will always find its way" be up for the challenge, regard the fates the sisters three: Fate, Karma and Destiny. They weave the tapestry of life, be careful because at a whim they just may snip your thread and end your career. "Into the light Carol-Anne" let the world see how triumphant and successful you can be. Reward yourself, be honest to your self and your cause. Watch and see how easy it can be!
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,