Let me start by admitting it. I know it’s a bit of a clickbaity headline and I’ve got a feeling this article won’t satisfy you.
I’m well aware of it but no matter how I thought about it, I couldn’t find another way to put it.
But you know what? That’s ok. I’ve accepted it and can move on with writing this piece. If you like it, great! I’m happy about it. If not, meh, that happens, doesn’t it?
The funny thing about this fact is that it goes well with my point today
We cannot expect to go forward if we cannot accept the past
I really don’t mind about the clickbaity title because I’ve moved past it. I’ve accepted its flaws and will now try to live up to the standard I’ve given myself.
While this is an extremely simple example, life is just more complex.
We have all done things we aren’t proud of or endured hardships we could have never imagined before they happened.
Those are important experiences in our lives but can be so hurtful we try to push them away.
The bad breakup with our ex, that time our boss screamed at us for a mistake, the time we got mugged, the time we failed at an important exam… the list goes on.
We need to move on from those.
But they did happen.
Just like the good experiences we’ve had, the bad ones contributed to who we became and we first need to accept them as such.
But there’s one more step to acceptance
Have you ever accepted something you didn’t understand? I guess we all have at one point but it never felt good so most of the time, we need to grasp every detail first.
It can be quite easy to understand external factors but it’s a whole other story when it comes to understanding things that are close to us.
And nothing’s closer to us than ourselves.
That is why we first need to become self-aware.
This process can take weeks, months or even years but I truly believe that where it all starts.
One of the reasons I started writing was to become more than just “the language guy”. And yet, after taking the time to look within, to understand where I’ve come from and assimilate both the good and the bad, I have come to accept that part of me, along with my love of other countries.
All of this despite my constant complaints of feeling like a foreigner and enduring racism regularly where I live!
This has allowed me to move forward, keep the good with me and let go of the bad for a better future.
Because change happens after you’ve understood your situation
Only when you know yourself well can you find a different way to go forward.
As David Goggins said between chapters in his audiobook,
“In our lives we change so many things. We change our house, our car, our clothes. We change our hairstyle. Sometimes we change our wives or husbands. We change so much. But very rarely do we change the way we think.[…]
If I didn’t change the way I thought about what was in front of me, about all the obstacles that whatever put in front of me... Let me see, let me take a step back and figure out how I can go through it or around it or over it. Now, when I see a wall, I look for a door. I look for a window. I look for a little crack.”
Understand my past helped me find a way to combine my love of languages with this new challenge. It wasn’t easy at first, but now it’s here and will stay so. Until I make it even better.
Do you know yourself well enough to go forward? If not, it’s time to take care of yourself and look within first.