One of the greatest enemy to the future is the past. Whether it be a positive or negative experience. The main disadvantages of a positive experience are complacency, resistance to change or improvement and limitation of potentials. Having mentioned these, today, our discussion will center on negative experience and how to live beyond it.
Negative experience if given the nod may eventually attract a lot of other similar experience. If not well handled, it can really affect an individual’s thinking and eventually influence following decisions one may have to make. A negative experience can easily cause us to lose our self-confidence and to disdain ourselves. It shifts our focus from our strengths to our weakness and from the good to the bad.
One of the painful negative experience an individual can face is when you’re not directly involved in an activity yet are blamed and have to face its consequences as such. Such experience can really make you bitter and blindfold you from seeing the future as it ought to be. The worst part of such an experience is when the person who caused it is very close to you; a dear one or someone whom you decided to follow the advice out of love. It may be a husband, wife, parent, friend, a loved one or any other you can think of. Being punished for following such person’s advice can really stir up hatred between you and the person. There is always the tendency to blame the person and lambaste him/her.
Let’s consider a typical example that happened in the beginning of the beginnings. When God made Adam, He told him not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam held on to this advice and refused to touch the tree. Later on, he chose to listen to the advice of his wife and then ate from the tree. God punished them for their disobedience. I believe you know the story already. But what I want to draw our attention to is the fact that as at that time, Adam had not named the woman. Nonetheless, right after God’s punishment, Adam named the woman, Eve, meaning mother of all living. (Genesis 3:20). Note that Adam had every reason to name Eve out the negative experience she had caused him yet, he didn’t do that. [i]
As the first man created, Adam, after committing such a huge mistake chose to live beyond it. He chose not to allow it influence his next decision. He chose to forget about the past and press on towards the future. This is a key example set for us to follow. In spite of the flaws or mistakes we’ve committed, we’re not those flaws. And we shouldn’t dwell on them. We must see things differently from the past. We are supposed to learn from the past, but not to allow it to hamstring us of the best the future seek to offer. We must not allow our past negative experience affect how we label the subsequent things that come our way. Wrongly labelling something can deprive you from enjoying the best of it.
We are more than our negative experiences and so, let’s live beyond them. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou [ii] Also, let’s learn to name things as we expect them to be not necessarily because of the situation it was birthed from. Your best blessing may be right after your worst experience and so strive to live beyond the past.
God loves you and always want the best for you.
[i] For further readings: Genesis 2 & 3