Masterful Mindsets – Experiences Don’t Control You Unless You Let Them
“I believe that the things we experience in life are what help make us who we are but they don’t have to control who we are or who we become.” ~Michelle Weimer
What are some of your most significant memories from childhood? Or maybe even your more recent past? Are the experiences you remember most – positive or negative? What role do they play in who you are? What role would you like them to play in who you want to be?
NOTICE: This story is not for the faint of heart! Read at your own risk!
Okay, I’m just joking… this really isn’t creepy or scary. I just had to start there – after all – it is Halloween! But I will warn you, I am going to share something that is near and dear to my heart. And it will probably surprise you. So if you don’t want to know what that is and how it relates to you becoming your best and being able to create your desired life, then stop reading now. Otherwise, let’s continue…
Today I’ll be attending my last elementary school Halloween party… And that’s pretty significant for me. Are you surprised? Let me explain.
See for some reason, one of my most vivid and powerful childhood memories is of my first Halloween party after my mom had passed away. Many of the other kids had their moms there. In particularly, I remember my best friend’s mom being there. I envied my friend so much. I couldn’t help but be engulfed by an overwhelming sense of sadness and an empty feeling that I was so alone. It’s a memory that has literally haunted me my whole life.
It’s something I thought about when my husband and I were trying to have children. I’d wonder if I’d ever be able to attend my children’s Halloween parties and give them what I didn’t have. And it’s a memory that has come up every year since that very first Halloween party I did get to attend as a mom. When it does, it reminds me to be grateful for the blessings I have been given and for the life I have been able to create.
So as I prepare to attend this last one, I’m a mix of emotions. A bit sad because this is the end of an important season in my life but overjoyed that I’ve been given the gift of attending them all. (Yes, I’m happy to say, I’ve had the pleasure of being at every single elementary Halloween party!) Mostly, I am filled with gratitude that I’ve been able to give my children something that I never experienced. Sure the significance of this seemingly small event might be lost on them, but for me, it’s huge.
Just like being able to create the life you desire is huge. I made a choice many years ago…and yes, the memory of that childhood Halloween party played a part in my decision. The choice I made was to create a life and a business that gave me the freedom to be at every party, every play, every practice. See, for me, I decided that I wasn’t going to use the experiences of my past as an excuse to be a victim and allow them to hold me back. Instead, I was embracing the parts of my past that I knew made me the person I am but most importantly, would help make me who I wanted to be. So as I look back now on the experience of that first Halloween party, I am thankful that it played a part in giving me the courage to quit my secure job of ten years and the motivation to start my own business so I could be at all those Halloween parties and more. This month I celebrate 11 years of being in business. My life is something I have created by choice. And although we can’t always control what happens to us, we can control how we choose to use those experiences.
My challenge to you is to think about an experience from your past that has played an important role in your life story. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you are using that experience as an excuse to be the victim of your past by allowing it to dictate and control your life now. Then look for the gift in that experience. Embrace that experience as a part of you that can help you decide who you want to become. Get clarity on what you want your future to look like for you. Know that the experiences of your past no longer have to control who you are or who you will become. Then get ready to create your desired life and be the best version of yourself that you can be!
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