New Beginnings: You Can't Go Back!
by ChristopherC. Cooper
(Humble, Texas, USA)
Christopher C. Cooper
Simply put, we mess up. Things don't go our way, and we have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how on earth to clean up our mess. This happens in several if not all aspects of our lives; friends, romantic relationships, finances, education, family, the list goes on. Even though the details of each of these situations are very different in detail, I believe there to be universal principles to cause restoration in each of these areas. I believe, and want to get you to believe, that you have the power to make a new beginning whenever and however you need.
As we always do, let's begin by giving a meaning to this "new beginning" concept.
* A new beginning is the action of giving former circumstances a new destiny and bringing them into a new category.
My favorite part of that definition is the last part where it talks about "bringing them into a new category". The biggest problem I've had when convincing people that they can have a new beginning is getting them to understand the process of doing it. When I say you can turn your situation around, I don't mean you can go back in time and correct every one of your mistakes. The reality of this is that people are always going to remember what you did wrong, and depending on the weight of your past decisions, you could very well keep running into the effects of them for a while. However, if you will decide you're going to give today a new meaning and educate yourself on how to better your decision making process, you can still be satisfied in life.
The very foundation of new beginnings is your own perception of your identity. What you must do is come to terms that you were in fact an idiot back then. You were crazy, out of your mind, and were not thinking about what you would have to live through. That's the first step. So it goes without saying that negative pride cannot play a factor here. I label it "negative pride" because there's a positive pride I'm going to get to here in a minute. In any event, you must sit down and take a long look at what you did wrong. This means being brutally honest with yourself. "Was I doing that because everyone else was?", "Was I scared that if I didn't do it...?", "Was I trying to impress someone?". Asking yourself these questions prevents you from ever screwing up your life so terribly again. When you get answers for these, you develop a new pattern of thinking.
This new pattern of thinking will now control each and every decision you make. Instead of using your old decision making process which got you in the current hole you're in, you now take more time to think wisely and not just act out of impulse. You are growing and becoming more responsible. You have grown out of your old immature state into one of strength and wisdom.
I hear somebody saying "Yeah Chris I understand changing today, but I still can't get yesterday off of my mind." Believe me, I know the feeling. When yesterday keeps haunting you, there's only one thing you can do; prove it wrong. In your thought life, yesterday is like a bad voice that keeps whispering that you can't escape your old self and that you're going to fall back into your former ways. You must stay consistent to your new ways you have developed today. When the heat is really on, remind yourself of all that you've had to go through to make it to today. Think of all the fights you've had to win and all the progress you've made. Going back will erase all of it, and you will have failed yourself.
You have to keep telling yourself that going back is NOT an option. If it's your finances, you can't go back to wasting what you've earned on temporary pleasures. If it's in your relationship, you can't go back to the old flings that were over as quick as they started. If it's your education, you can't go back to neglecting your investment in your future because it's too bright now! If it's in your friendships, you can't go back to letting those who find failure acceptable to rule your life. You must realize that you're better than your past ways and environment. You deserve better. You owe it to yourself and to all those around you that you can help to stay with your dedication to a new beginning.
Why? Because somebody needs your story. Somebody needs your testimony of how YOU got out, to realize that if you did it, so can they. You may not devote your entire life to helping others like I've chosen to do, but as sure as you're sitting there reading this, you will come across someone lost and confused who is a mirror image of you. They will be drifting off their path and would have given up on their dreams. At that point, you will notice the great things you've made for you and yours, and it will be too sweet not to step in and help them defeat the odds.
It's then you can sit back and take pride in where you have come from. No you won't be perfect and your life won't be a fairytale, but taking inventory and comparison of life today and back then will be cause for celebration. Yes you did what they said you did, but you are not who they say you are. You are changed, altered, and new...and not stopping anytime soon.