Day 5: Self-Love For All The Past
Love yourself no matter what you have done in and with your life. It is unlikely that you ever went out of your way to do bad or wrong. You are human and fallible. Like everyone else, we have made mistakes, we have wronged ourselves and others, and we have made ourselves and others unhappy. We have done again things that we said we would never do again. Like everyone else we have our weaknesses. We have given in to temptation.
Through all of this, God continues to love us all the time. God gave us freedom to think and choose and decide and act. With that freedom we have often gone off track. Sometimes we have learned our lessons and grown as a result. Many times we wonder how we could have done such things. We did do them. We are part of universal humanity making mistakes, sometimes repeatedly. The past is all a part of our glorious God-given lives.
At least we are aware that there is a difference between right and wrong, good and bad. Knowing this, we can always strive to be better.
Acknowledging this, let us love ourselves, not only in spite of the past, but especially because of the past.
It has all brought us to where we are now, a good place to be. A place of making a sincere effort to be a better person.
Our Past Is Neither Our Present Nor Our Future
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You have probably heard of the “Power of Positive Thinking” (incidentally also the title of an excellent book by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale). Some realize how true and beneficial positive thinking is, and put it into practice; others believe it to be true, but don’t actually utilize it; or if they do, only infrequently, whilst still others don’t believe it to be true or merely see fit to ignore it. Others at the extreme end of the spectrum castigate it and call it an unrealistic approach to life.
Positive thinking is fundamentally wonderfully powerful. There are far too many examples of vast numbers of people’s personal experiences, achievements, improvements, so-called ‘miracles’, resulting from such positivity, for it not to be taken seriously and accepted and used as a solid foundation for your life.
What would you prefer to be: happy or unhappy? ; content or disgruntled, depressed?; calm and relaxed or apprehensive, anxious, tense, ‘stressed’? ; attractive — and attracting — or unattractive — and non-attracting?; healthy or unhealthy? ; optimistic or pessimistic? ; lively or lethargic? ; enthusiastic or disinterested?
I am sure that virtually without exception, everyone would give the same positive answers. But many people do not realize that they themselves control these emotions and conditions. Consciously or unconsciously you largely create these circumstances for yourself. You have the incredible power to dictate and control your life to a far greater extent than you may realize.
Ultimately, you decide for yourself if you are happy or unhappy. It is not ‘outside’, external circumstances or influences that cause you to be happy or unhappy, but rather how you react — or better, respond — to these circumstances. The very same incident can cause one person to be happy, and another to be unhappy. It is an individual’s own choice and decision. Happiness and unhappiness are states of mind. Who do you think controls your mind?
Whatever your current circumstances may be, it is vital to know that you can change them, for the better or worse, through the use of your own mind. From a technical or scientific point of view, it is not necessary to understand precisely how the mind works. It is necessary though, if you desire to be happier, that you know you are capable of causing happiness to manifest through the power of your mind, through positive, optimistic and constructive thinking.
We spend many hours working to earn money for necessities, comforts and luxuries in our own lives and others’, or for whatever purpose. And yet, we often allocate so little, if any, time to improving ourselves, to ‘positivising’ our attitude and state of mind, so that the quality of our lives is automatically and habitually improved.
‘Positive Being’ is a description of what you are when you consistently strive to internalise and practice the power of positive thinking. It is in your hands. Or mind rather.
Life is not theory, ii is practice; and that should be practice the verb. Hence the title ‘Living Approach’, not ‘Life Approach’.
It is easy to talk, theorise and philosophise about life. But what happens on the ground, as it were, is what counts.
And yet; how we approach life influences how we live life. What is our attitude towards life? Each moment of our lives we can consciously decide what our attitude or approach to life, to living, is going to be. Our attitude or approach to living is one of the few factors over which we do have much individual control. Our life, our living wholesomely and fulfillingly, requires of us that we use this power wisely. It really is in our own hands. And minds and hearts.
Of course circumstances in our lives affect and influence us. but we have the capacity to determine how we adapt to what our current life circumstances happen to be.
Would you choose to be happy rather than unhappy? What causes you to be happy? This for another topic of discussion, but often very small things in life reward us with the greatest happiness. And such ‘small’ things as a simple smile and greeting to a stranger can afford us with maximum joy.
At this moment of reading, what is your ‘living approach’? It is your choice and your decision. And again now. And now. And…
I am a Recovery Coach, Life Coach, Author and Speaker. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.