I have come to a new place of understanding.
We can go our whole lives not truly realizing who we are or why we react and respond to life's circumstances the way we do.
Sometimes the regrets we have are just too painful to look back on so it's easier to look ahead, like the Scriptures tell us to do ... "forgetting that which is behind me and straining for what lies ahead." (Philippians 3:13)
It's easier to forget.
It's easier to dismiss.
It's easier to deny.
It's easier to look forward, but sometimes looking back is required for our healing.
Those regrets or that guilt or that mistake, whatever it may be, played a part in the person you are today. It helped to mold you. It's a part of you. It's a part of your life story.
I only just recently discovered this about myself.
I've discovered that every bad decision, every mistake, every horrible choice were all made out of fear, specifically fear of failure.
Everyone can relate to that fear and can look back on their own lives and pinpoint choices they've made out of their own fear.
Fear is crippling.
In one single moment, it can cause you to forsake everything you know and believe.
I hate fear. I want to kick it in the face because I believe it ruled over me for a very long time.
Even now, there are moments when I can physically feel fear trying to overtake me again. The difference is that now I will not allow it. Truth be told ... there are times of weakness, where I want to crumple into a little ball in the corner of the room, where I want to become invisible, where I'm that scared little girl again.
But, I don't let myself because fear is not going to win this time.
I do many things in my life afraid now because I know God's told me to and I trust that He will bring me to the end of it. It's an act of obedience. It's hard. I'm scared to do it. But, I do it anyway.
Fear is the root of every bad decision.
It really is.
It's not greed or jealousy.
It's fear ...
Fear of not having enough, fear of not being good enough, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of disappointment, and the list could go on forever!
So at the ripe old age of 41, I understand me more. I understand my past more. I understand the whys of my life, the regrets of my life.
When you understand the whys of your life, it's HUGE! It helps you to move on.
So, what do I do with the knowledge of my whys?
Yes ... I do try to press on to the end, forgetting what is behind, but I also learn.
I learn to be aware of my motives, my heart, why things hurt, why I feel the way I do.
That's the point where I can encourage myself, the point where I recognize fear and can cast it down with the truth of God's Word.
God's Word is the only tool we have to combat fear.
Someone can hold us or comfort us or say it's going to be OK, but God's Word is one hundred times more powerful. Once you get those words in your spirit, there's no limit to what you can do. Those old feelings of fear will be just a memory.
Hey ... I'm right there with you ... fighting fear day after day, but I'm pretty sure in the words of Charlie Sheen, I'm "winning."