This poster has been circulating Facebook for a while and I used to be very excited by it but actually the more I’ve done my QEC and other things looking at my past and I have come to believe that your past does affect your present which then determines/influences/inspires your future.
I know many of the people who have posted this have had rough pasts – abusive childhoods, drug addicts, etc – but I think those still determine/influence/inspire your future. I would not be sitting here typing this if I had not gone through the things I had been through. I would not have done what I did, would not have experienced what I did, etc.
My past has determined where I am today and so will have a influence on my future. I cannot change the past. I can change the way it affects my present and then my future but it will still be there – even when healed – to make me think.
I pick the jobs I do and the people I hang out with because of my past. I know someone who because of the way their teenage life was has devoted their life to working with young people. They would not have done that unless they had gone through what they had gone through.
I do understand that it is a phrase to say “don’t think you’re stuck because of what has gone on in your life before” but I do think it is a bad use of wording
So let us try to celebrate our past no matter how good or bad it was because that has made us who we are today. And through all of it God has loved each and everyone of us and whether we knew it or not has been there for us to turn to as and when we wanted.
Our past has made us what we are today and who we are today will inspire/influence what we become in the future.
Last night I saw Dan Snow, The History Man, speak at a local theatre. One of the many things that he said that struck me (so be warned there could be many more blog posts to come) was that he knows people say, generally behind his back, that he is only doing what he does because of his family. He paused before saying “Yes I am.” He went on to say that because his parents both had a love of history, that his father was in television broadcasting, because they had money and could afford to go not just to historic places close to home but across the world, that yes that is why he is stood on this stage now. He is doing what he does because of where he comes from.
Here is a piece that dovetails with that –
Jan Fortune in Becoming Your Story Course says “So many people describe themselves as ‘self-made’. It’s an outlandish concept. We all emerge from someone, have childhoods and environments that affect us and exist within various networks, physical and emotional. I’m certain we can make huge changes in our lives, re-invent ourselves, change our values and goals, but the idea that we don’t need others along the path is arrogant as well as unrealistic. No one is self-made”
My thoughts are that if you hear something more than once and it resonates for you then it is for you.
I could weep that I did not have Dan Snow’s upbringing and opportunities. I could weep that I am not Jan Fortune. I could bemoan that I am not a whole host of people. As well as grumbling that I did/didn’t do x, y and z. But I am here sitting in my lovely study watching the snow falling, my little dog snoring between my legs because of my parents,
my life choices, the people I have met along the way, the friends I have met, the people who have spoken into my life for good or bad. All have led to why I am here now.
A lovely friend that I share my writing with said he was amazed that I could write about medieval battles when I haven’t experienced any. Actually that is not true. I have experienced them through what I have read, listened to, watched, visited. All are part of who I am. Yes I have changed my life, reinvented myself, changed my values and goals over the 50+ years of my life. But each and every one of them has been influenced by who I met, what had gone before, or experiences at the time.
Here are just two examples:
I didn’t go travelling abroad because it just popped into my head one day. I went because someone suggested it, even though she didn’t come with me in the end. I went to the place I did in Greece because someone recommended it before I left. And from there the people I met influenced where I went from there.
I didn’t “become a Christian” out of the blue. Lovely well-meaning people invited me to their church coffee morning. From there my life has been again to do with who I met, who suggested what, good and bad things that happened along the way.
So as Dan Snow stood there and said “yes I am here because of my family and I am grateful” I also say I am here in this place now doing what I am doing because of my family, my friends, the influences that have happened.
I am starting off on a new direction with my life – taking my writing seriously and actually telling people I am a writer. I am doing to spend 12 months being mentored to
help this process along. But this has not come about in isolation. It has come about due to many influences and encouragements. Also because of a husband who is content for me to not to have a career but to be home bringing in a modest income via Airbnb and writing workshops, and using the rest of my time writing, writing and writing. I am grateful to him for that.
So I am here typing, looking out my window in North Wales at the snow with my little dog still snoring because of the life choice I made to marry just over 12 years ago. But actually that only came about because I choice to be living in the town I was, etc, etc, etc. So let us all choose to understand where we have come from and many people have made us who we are now.