Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

If you are a parent of “grown” children then you know they have forgotten nothing from their childhood! The good and beautiful, the not-so-good and not-so-beautiful, are all right there in living color in their memory, as if no time has passed at all! They remember things we’ve forgotten and are glad to be reminded of, and they remember things we’ve forgotten that we’d rather not be reminded of! Our children give us a wonderful, and perhaps unique, opportunity to come to love our self more through the realization that whatever we didn’t know about self and life way back when somehow still helped in shaping them in positive ways into the unique, remarkable being they are today. We could say our love for who they were as children and who they are today gives us permission to love who we were back then, and compassion to love our self today.

But whether we have a child to remind us of our past, or a parent, sibling, friend, foe, or simply our incessant self-critiquing to do it, it’s important for us to love who we’ve been and embrace however we’ve been with compassion because whatever we didn’t know about our self and life has still been instrumental in shaping us in positive ways into who we are today. And, it’s good to be who we are today! We are seekers of Truth, open to discovering our power to create a life we enjoy living everyday. What a blessing, then, our past has been because we’re inspired do whatever it takes to reveal more of the beautiful, loving, joyful, unique, remarkable being we’re created to be. And “what it takes” most of all is courage to love our self.

It takes courage for us to own every step of our journey in life, rather than rejecting or hiding from some of those steps. It takes inner strength to offer compassion, rather than condemnation, to our past, and to let go of the desire to assign blame to others or make excuses for our self. But, unless we own our path “to” today, free and clear with no mortgage of shame and blame, we won’t be free to let our past go. Shame and blame will not only keep us from trusting who we’ve been, it will keep us from recognizing who we’ve become.

It may feel risky to let go of all the sad stories we’ve repeated over and over through the years because we’ve mistaken our stories for our self. Who would we be without them? What self would we see if we could see our self without the cloud cover of yesterday? Are we ready to let go of a past that can’t be changed, and embrace the powerful ways our past has changed? Are we ready to find our way to our inner light and let it guide us? Our boat won’t float on the shallow waters of past regret. It takes courage to pull up the heavy anchor that has kept us stuck in the shallowness of old stories, so that we can set sail for new adventures on higher seas.

Fear will keep us stuck with our belly on the bottom believing we’re safer if we don’t rock the boat with our desire for self-discovery and authentic self-expression. It takes no courage to follow the crowd and try to be a people-pleaser. We think it keeps us safe, but all we’re doing is sacrificing our discovery of how amazing we can be. It takes courage to honor our inner impulse to “let out our weird” and express our unique self! But if we don’t, we’ll live out our earth life waving goodbye to those brave enough to risk setting their sails for new adventures that we are choosing not to experience. We’ll simply stand on the shoreline, adventureless and unexpressed, cheering on those courageous ones who are willing to follow their heart while we ignore our own.

It’s been said “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” It doesn’t take courage to do anything unless we’re afraid to do it. What is there to overcome if we don’t feel fear in the first place? We don’t need to be afraid to feel fear. We just need to be willing to overcome it as many times as it takes. We can begin by choosing to stop worrying about what could go wrong, and give our self permission to dream about what could go right. We might want to ask our self: “Am I willing to let myself dream a beautiful dream of me? If I had the courage to overcome my fear what would I be doing in my life that I’m not doing now?”

Path makers and risk takers don’t worry if anyone understands why they’re doing what they’re doing because they are following an inner light they won’t let fear put out. How often have we let fear stop us? Path makers and risk takers don’t spend time worrying about what others are saying because they are too busy minding their own sails so they can stay on course. How often have we let our self go off course because of what others were saying about us? The mindset of path makers and risk takers is, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” How many times have we stopped because we didn’t succeed the first time, and felt like such a failure we didn’t try again?

As we’ve likely heard Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing light bulb. But when a reporter asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with a 1,000 steps.” We are a creation with countless steps. Every step we’ve made, even those that looked like a misstep to us (or someone else) has been instrumental in shaping us and revealing more of Self to our self. Every time we thought we failed we were simply discovering what we wanted by experiencing what we didn’t want.

There is no one on earth more qualified to live a life of joy, love, peace, success, and abundant good than we are, And there’s definitely no one in the whole universe more qualified to live your life than you are. If we made a past mistake, so what? A mistake is just something to learn from. A mistake can’t change the Self we’re created from and created to be. We can take the gift of learning from our seeming mistakes, stop talking about them, and move on all the wiser. When we are courageous enough to let our inner light guide us, rather than asking others who we should be and how we should be, we will discover the unique, remarkable Self we’ve always been.