As a child, I was always compared to my peers. I was always told that I needed to get better grades or that I needed to be faster, smarter or more sociable like someone else. The roots of such comparisons may be found in my home as my parents and other relatives wanted me to be the best that I could possibly be and they judged how good I was based on those around me. If any of y’all have siblings then you probably know exactly what I am talking about. While my family’s intent was good, its impact had negative implications in the sense that their words wounded me.
And that something we all must take note of, just because someone’s intention may be good does not mean that the impact will also be good. Most times when we judge the validity of peoples’ advice, we judge it based on their intent and not the impact which is the most important aspect. Never follow an advice or person with good intent if their impact is negative as the impact is what creates the wound. In the case of my family, their words wounded me as they lead to thoughts that revolved around inadequacy and shame Their intention was good but the impact was negative as I felt inadequate when I was compared to others and deemed to be the lesser. I also felt ashamed to be deemed the lesser as no one wants to feel inferior to another human being.
It is to be noted that I would not be the person who I am today without these comparisons as they encouraged and motivated me to be the best version of myself that I could myself. Could there have been other ways to accomplish this goal? Probably but I learned from this experience and it has made me a better person as a result. Even today, it is still my personal mantra and goal to become the best version of myself that I possibly can. The only difference is that when I strived towards this goal to be better than others when I was younger while today I strive towards this goal because of my constant hunger for growth, knowledge and to live my best life.
Even though my reason for my desire to become the best version of myself has morphed over the years, the original wounds left by those comparisons when I was younger are still open. And the crazy thing is that I was not made aware of these open wounds until recently. It was through a recent interaction with a friend that I realized that I was projecting my own grievances on others without proper foundation especially when it was the same grievance with multiple people. It was not until recently that I turned the mirror on myself and really looked at the reason why I felt the way that I felt. It was not until recently that I realized that I had hidden wounds that were still affecting my thoughts, decisions, and actions. Hidden wounds that were created in the past but are still bleeding many years later.
Often times, we point the finger at others when we have a problem instead of reflecting on our own actions. We often find reasons and maybe even other people to back up our assumptions. Sometimes we are so hell-bent on proving others wrong that we never even take a second to consider the fact that we could also be wrong or that the problem that we have is a reflection of ourselves instead of someone else. We choose what we magnify in every situation, argument or predicament and most times we magnify that which has hurt us in the past or that which reminds us of it.
When we focus on the things that remind us of our past, we are letting the past dictate our future. When we focus on the things that remind us of our past, we are preventing our wounds from healing and most times we are not even aware of this effect. In order to grow and evolve into the person that you want to be, one must learn to grow, learn and conquer it. There is a difference between forgetting that something happening and conquering it. When we forgot an event or lesson that we gain nothing from it, allow our wounds to remain open and are more likely to experience it again with higher stakes to lose. To conquer an event or lesson is to analyze it, realize areas of weakness and grow from it so you will be able to allow wounds to heal.
To conquer an event in your life is not easy but if you do not conquer it then it will conquer you. Many of us are currently conquered by past events and predicaments because we choose to forget our problems instead of acknowledging and overcoming them. We choose to forget because it is the easier route but the easier route is always more treacherous than the hard one. The easier route may help you cope but the harder route will help you heal. As we move forward into a new year, we need to be able to check ourselves before we check others. We need to be able to truly reflect on past experiences and be honest with their implications. We need to bring out the bones out of the closet and put them back together. We need to look for the demons in ourselves before we demonize others. It will not be easy but it will be worth it.
By conquering your past, you will be able to find peace and solace which will follow you for the rest of your life. By conquering your mind then you shall conquer your life and you will conquer life by allowing your hidden wounds to heal. If you truly want to soar in life then you must release your baggage as the butterfly sheds its cocoon. If you truly wish to be happy then you must overcome the seeds of unhappiness. If you truly seek to be free then you must break the chains of your mental obsession. If you truly want a better future then it must be built with the bricks of the past and not on them.
Blog Verse: “And we know that all things work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28 NIV’
Significance: The usage of the word ‘works implies that something is in progress. It implies that all things are in a state of progression and evolution. It implies that in order for something to be of good in your life that it needs to be transformed into something good. And it can’t be transformed if it is still hidden nor can it be transformed if you have not conquered it. God cannot fix what we have not acknowledged or attempted to fix ourselves. Because even though God is a benevolent and loving being, we must seek admission into Kingdom in order to be saved and we cannot seek the Kingdom if we are busy seeking freedom from our past.
YouVersion Bible App – Eashwayne Haughton