What Does Your Past Say About Your Future? by: Tori Bradford

My 7-year-old brought home an A++ on her spelling test last week as well as an A+ on both of her vocab tests.  This may not sound like a big deal, after all, she is only in first grade, but to us, it is perhaps the biggest thing since our cross-country move last year.  

You see, my daughter has had trouble with schoolwork for as long as she has been in school.  She’s brilliant, but when it comes to organized learning, she panics and then a stubborn streak comes out full force. Only a mere month ago she was bringing home F’s on her spelling test and vocab tests.  

Sound familiar to any other parents out there?

Not surprisingly, a lot of tears come with talking to a seven-year-old girl about “stepping up her game” with her schoolwork and working “harder”, but what was surprising were the tears that came from me!  In fact, many tearful nights I resorted to thinking the future was bleak, and nothing would ever change.  Then before I knew it, I was picturing her dropping out of high-school with tattoos and piercings and not getting into college.  

I see now that I was allowing myself to get carried away by letting her PAST define my view of her FUTURE. 

I’d love to tell you that I instantly had a huge breakthrough and transformation took place… but it didn’t.  I got stuck in the circumstances.  I fretted over her academics for months and months.  I let my mind go and, by my example, I see now that I was encouraging her to do the same thing.  She was learning to make excuses and to look at her past as the road map to her future.  

Have you ever been there?  Do you think it’s possible to have hope for the future when your past is telling you everything that is wrong?

For me, my breakthrough came last week when I opened her homework folder and saw an A++ staring back at me.  Through tears, I searched for the name on the paper assuming another child’s paper must have gotten put in her folder (parent of the year award right here!)… Nope, it was her name.  And it said A++ at the top. I looked a little further, and I found a vocab test marked A+ followed by another one...and they ALL had HER name on them!!! 

As I stood there, holding her tests in my hand, the thought hit me like a brick.  “The past doesn’t have to define your future.”  It doesn’t matter how many F’s she had in the past or how she felt about school in the past.  Even when the excuses come flowing out and she thinks there is no way to create space for a new beginning she can….and I can….and you can!  

How many times have you let yourself believe that you can’t do something or that achieving a goal is impossible because you failed in the past? Or maybe you think that you aren’t good enough to even try? Or maybe there are so many excuses and circumstances that are “blocking” your vision to even create a goal for the future? 

Friends, there is always room for a new beginning.  There is always a chance to start fresh. 

Your future does not have to be determined by your past...  Let that marinate for a second...  Your future does not have to be determined by your past.  

The first step is letting go of the past’s hold on you.  There is no shame in where you are at this very moment, and there is no shame in where you came from.  It doesn’t matter what has gotten you to this point, all that matters is where you want to go from here.  Whatever has been holding you back doesn’t have to any longer because each moment is a new moment to start fresh.

Yes! The future is bright, my friends! What do you want it to look like?



Julia WoodsComment