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Cast the Past

by Claudine Sweeney
March 4th 2020

It is true our past colors who we are but it is a myth that it defines us. Many disagreeable things have happened in each of our lives but it is by acknowledging and forgiving that will move you pa... More

mm hmm. Welcome to rise up and shine. We are to women at different stages of life who have overcome feeling stuck and are now living life fully with peace and joy join us weekly for a real raw and faithful conversation about our trials and triumphs bringing hope insight and weekly tips that you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. However I do have one compelling focus. I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future. Instead, These are the words of Paul in Philippians 3 13 and today. That's what we're talking about. We're talking about our past and acknowledging that our past certainly colors are present in our future but not allowing it to control our present in our current life. That is a really good point. Control. I think I was definitely living my life that way. Very much so very much. It's hard not to, you know, I mean it's it's our past, our experiences that we went through and depending on the type of experience you go through, it definitely can have an effect on you.

I mean we're influenced by all of our experiences, you know from childhood growing up but really recognizing if it has a control menu versus well it just happened and let's move forward. You know, I don't think a lot of us stopped to really pay attention to how much of a grasp our past has on us. Yeah, I never did. In fact I don't think I'm the only one but I certainly came from a very much victim mindset. I was a victim of my past, everything that had happened to me or didn't happen to me all these things and it really became part of my identity and it influenced the choices I made, the thoughts I believed and everything else my actions and so to be able to know that I had the choice to have different thoughts and to think differently to feel differently and act differently was so empowering and that's when my life started to change when I took back that ownership of my thoughts and my actions, I was thinking recently actually this week how a lot of my experiences in my lifetime have all kind of funneled into what I now feel is my purpose, but this is all new to me, like I didn't always think that way, this is, I believe the growth you know now kind of being on the other side, once I got that awareness and understood how I was living, you know, I was living chained to my past, you know, I was very much the victim, I you know, just felt life was happening to me, not just that life happened, you know, just take it so personal and of course like when you go through certain experiences and even if there are certain traumas, you know, I mean I am a child of divorce, I lost a grandparent when I was really young to cancer and she was one of my primary caregivers for awhile, you know off and on and it was huge, really impacted me for sure.

You know, I mean, just things like that, going to school, you know, the different struggles with other kids relationships or you know, the insecurity of a young girl. Do they like me? Do they? You know, so a lot of those things have happened in my life and I was, I was stuck to, it just keeps happening to me. Life keeps happening to me. Now. There's another thing now, of course, how come it always happens to me? You know, I mean, I would just kind of get those things in my mind even now as an adult, if there was a situation, an uncomfortable situation that I really didn't like and you know, I would go to that same pattern of thought. Again, Of course these things always happen to me, right? Yeah. And then we think those thoughts and it kind of reinforces itself. Our minds are wired and shaped and then we look for that evidence out there based on our thoughts and we're going to find it. It always happens to me and then something happens. We're like, see I was right. And then it reinforces it and then it continues to happen and that's what we're talking about today, not being chained or stuck by our past, honoring what the past was for who it's helped us become but not being stuck or chained to it.

Not feeling trapped by the past. I know for me. I remember being young and one of my parents had said, oh, you're just lazy and that label from being a young girl stuck with me. And so I felt like I had to work really, really, really hard all the time just to escape that label. But the truth of it is probably looking back now, I probably just didn't clean my room and they just said, you're just being lazy. But my little brain took it and made it an identity. I am lazy. Your child, underdeveloped brain took that, informed your belief. Yes. And so it really affected me. And then I was like, well, I'm lazy anyway, I don't really need to work that hard. And I think I've shared that before. I don't really love to work hard. It's just not my thing. I do it, but I don't love it. I like to work, but not hard. So I look at that, that label that as I grew up, I learned to let go of that was someone else's label of me. And yet so many times we carry things in our present that were put on us by other people that could have been having a really bad day or could not have been a great emotional spot that day and they said you're this or you're that our parents, our teachers, other authority figures and we've accepted that and we've held on to it and it's become part of who we are.

And it's really time as adults, as mature adults to say, no, I don't hold on to that anymore. I'm forgetting what's behind and I'm fasting my heart to the future to who I want to be too, who God's called me to be. We are made for so much more than our past and our experiences. And that's why we get stuck stuck in life because we are made for so much more and that's how God sees us and, you know, but we don't see ourselves that way. We see ourselves a lot of times through the eyes of what other influences have, you know, gone on in our own mind and experiences. I was thinking today, also my daughter, she'll say, you know, everyone calls me weird. Everyone says I'm weird and I'm thinking, okay, are you okay with that? And I, you know, in my mind, I'm thinking like, okay, how does she take it? Because I know my perspective on it, right? Like I was this silly, funny, you know, do weird things, but I'm like, I'm the weird one in my family or not necessarily family. I think my family were all weird, but the weird one of my friends just Goofy, you know, do off the wall things just to rile them up.

But um, but she was saying, she likes it, you know? And I'm like, okay, well that's fine, you know, as long as where that, but it is a label no matter what people say and it's not just authority figures, it's also appears as Children were around other kids all day long, you know? And so that's our closest interaction and you know, they're very influenced by the other kids. And so, and I remember that too, just being influenced by if someone would make a comment, like, oh, you're weird. And then I would take that comment as truth. Oh, okay, I must be weird. Okay. And then I kind of would behave that way. Like just kind of became my badge of honor. I was like, I guess I am. Um and I also thought I was a child. I was very messy, very messy when you were Yeah, I was lazy. Um My brother's still tease me. You know, I'm 37 years old. They still tease me. I know, but because I just procrastinated, I didn't want to get my chores done.

I, you know, I remember thinking like, mom, how come you didn't teach me to clean my room and I'm sure she tried many times, right? But yeah, she's like, I just as long as you had your door closed and I didn't see it, then I'm just going to have to accept it, but behind closed doors. It was bad. It was really bad. I'm not even going to go into the details because it was really bad. I've noticed that you've grown, you're not messy and I think you're quirky, not weird. So that's a different perspective, but that's the great part of being an adult and maturing and being able to make choices. We know that we have free will and we know that we have the power of choice. And when we can look back at our past and go, okay, that's what I experienced or that's what someone said. But it's not the truth and owning the truth of who and what we are, certainly in God's eyes, but even now as adults to throw off to cast aside those, those unhealthy patterns and labels from our childhood and even early uh 10 years and becoming who we want to be.

And that's what you and I we focus on, we work with our clients with is becoming who we want to be achieving, the goals we want to achieve and living life to the full, rising up and shining in this world and we can't do that if we are anchored down by our past, right? And, you know, we all struggle with identity at some point in our life. And I think one thing that I've really learned more recently is that I really believe that we know our identity. We just have to kind of dig out all those other influences and voices that, you know, the inner critic or you know, just the influence we've had of others their opinions, the labels, you know, we were given. Like we just kind of have to dig all that out because it does not define us. It colors our life now. Right? It's definitely colored are present in our life and how we function, but it's not who we are. You know what I mean? And so being able to kind of cast those things away and, but it takes sitting down and really going through, okay, our thinking patterns, you know, Okay, well I, if I call myself while I'm lazy, I'm not organized.

I'm, you know, those were things that were told to me because I didn't learn those skills when I was young. And so then it follows me into adulthood and then it might cause some issues with my marriage, my lack of organization. But um, it's, it doesn't mean that I can't learn the skill. It doesn't mean this is well, this is just who I am. I'm never gonna, I'm never going to be organized but I believe that. But I realized, no, I don't know if I choose, I want to learn how to organize. Oh my gosh, I mean youtube google yeah, learn a new skill and that's the thing is we don't have to be stuck in those labels and we can learn and grow and that is the point of acknowledging our past, not letting it define us and hold us back. But casting off those opinions, those labels and stepping forward into who we are and our purpose those are, those two things have really helped me change and grow into the woman I want to be and choose to be today.

And one was acknowledging the past, really sitting down, taking time to do an inventory of all the labels or all the ideas I had about myself that were no longer serving me, that weren't empowering me. That didn't help me be my best and really acknowledging, okay, that's what someone else thought, that's what someone else said. Or perhaps it was just an experience. The way I interpreted it was my perception. Obviously we don't do everything perfectly and if I got a low score on a test, I would feel really bad. We can talk about that a whole, another time, the whole perfectionism and you know, I got an a minus. Oh my gosh, I'm a failure. Um luckily I don't live like that anymore. And then not only acknowledging it, but making a choice to choose who I want to be. And like you said, there's no skill. We can't learn, there's nothing we can't achieve. We have God's power within us, We have intelligence and ability beyond what we can imagine. And there's nothing we can't be do or achieve if we set our minds to it.

And that's what's really helped change the course of my life the last few years. Yeah, that was really empowering for me. I mean, even with the 10-K. You know, I mean, I never had a desire to do it, I never thought I could do it, but I think because I really limited myself with a fixed mindset, you know, I was very like, well I can't do that or you know, other people run, there's, you know, they don't even look red in the face and went to what I'm saying, other people run, Ashley run, I don't run, I sit, oh yeah, I would like to change that you? Absolutely, but I I made a decision, I want to challenge myself with something and I don't even remember where that came up, why running happened to come up, but I knew like just in my health, trying to figure out how I can exercise and move my body was highly valuable to me, so somehow I just got into running, but then then as I was running and doing it, becoming more of a habit and then a lifestyle then it's like well now I see myself, I could do it, so in the past I had that fixed mindset like, oh no, that's not right, you know?

But then as I was doing it, then I started believing, but I think I can, I think I can and so I started changing my perspective to have a growth mindset is like, you know what if I put my mind to it and I work hard and I'm consistent and I get up and put my shoes on and get my music and go run, I can do it. You know, I really had to reframe those words in my mind of how I looked at that, you know, anything that we go after another example that comes to mind is I was talking with my husband recently about this is college is I didn't really have the mindset that I could accomplish college, you know, I mean, I also didn't have it modeled for me necessarily, you know, so I'm the first one that ended up graduating from the university, so it wasn't modeled for me, it just wasn't really pushed, you know, like you graduate high school, you go to college, this is what we do. So I didn't have that in my mind, you know, and I just, I kind of struggled in school in high school or you know, I would, especially when I got to college, I was being lazy, I would take a nap out on the lawn in the sunshine, you know, the beaches right across the street.

It is not easy going to class on a nice 80 degree tropical day, but um I did, I realized like why, why did I have that mindset? Like, well college isn't for me, you know, and that's what I believed college wasn't for me, you know, it's meant for certain types of people, but it's not meant for me, but looking back, I realized that I started dating my husband, you know back then and he was really helping encourage me to um change that perspective. And then I realized it was just what I was thinking about, it was the belief I had in myself that dictated whether I do college or not, you know, and once I really started going to class, you could do it, you know, committing myself working hard, putting in the effort. Then that belief came, that belief changed from, no, I can't do it, this isn't meant for me to now, Oh no, I can do it, you know, I'm learning a new skill essentially and I changed my mindset, I ended up graduating college, I ended up getting a teacher's credential, you know, and I graduated with great grades too because I applied myself and worked hard.

So it takes a lot of awareness to recognize those thinking patterns, you know, and what influenced us, just kind of switch it a bit and then make the decision and choose something different. And and we're talking about really light topics right now, like being labeled lazy or not feeling like we, I could go to college or graduate from college, but you and I both have friends that have had really challenging childhoods that have suffered tremendous amount of abuse. I have a really close friend who had a very abusive childhood, it was incredibly difficult for her um tons of different kinds of abuse for her entire childhood through her teen years until she finally got out and yet she is one of the kindest, most generous, most loving women I know and she gives and encourages others and she's not allowed her past to change her or to repeat the behaviors that she experienced. And I talked to her on several occasions about it and she looks at it and she's chosen not to allow other people's behavior, other people's sinful behavior against her to control her life in the present or going forward.

And that was really powerful for me because I think for me I can tend to give in to that victim mindset and I could see myself had I had that kind of child just really be stuck and go, well everyone's like this or I'm so unworthy, I'm this is all I deserve. And yet watching her really rise up and shine and really live a great life because she chose not to accept other people's weaknesses or labels of her or their mistreatment of her to define who she is and the kind of life she could live, it's been really amazing to watch, right and it's so easy to blame. You know, I mean we feel like especially when it's so justified, you know when you go through certain experiences like that, you're well they should be blamed for it, you know that was definitely wrong. There's no argument about that, but on the flip side it's how much of that do we hold onto and keep focusing on blaming that it keeps us stuck, you know, it keeps us feeling um discouraged and, you know, a lack of forgiveness, resentful, bitter, you know, I mean, it's it's very easy to fall into that, you know, and we can, like I said, justify it because they're horrible experiences, you know, that nobody should go through, but how do we move on from that?

You know? Okay, it happened, acknowledge that happened. Am I going to let it keep me chained? Am I going to let it keep me in this box of feeling inferior and a victim? And, you know, or am I going to let it empower me and use that for good? And I realized also, again, this week, I've been doing a lot of soul searching, I realized that I feel like I'm in my purpose right now, you know, and well, I feel like my purpose changes, but I feel like at this point in time my purpose has been colored and influenced by past situations, you know, losing my grandmother, going through parents who divorced. Um I had a brother who had a lot of health challenges when he was younger. Um you know, I didn't always have a lot of close connection with my dad growing up and having a stepdad figuring that relationship out and, you know, I as a teenager, I went through a breakup and, you know, I just felt a lot of rejection there and so there's a lot of influences, but as I grew up and you know, matured and my fully formed brain, you know, helped influence me as well as I'm learning a lot of this.

I see that it all had some sort of factor into what I'm doing now. And so wanting to help other women be hopeful again, you know, and be encouraged and feel confident in who they are and remembering who they are and look at themselves through God's eyes, you know, I mean, I was I was sharing with my client that, you know, when you think about it, I mean we have this amazing creation around us and if we stopped to really be in awe of the sunset, right? We talked about this, the sunset, the ocean, the snow peaked mountains, you know, I mean, we are over those things and revel in those things, but we're part of creation to write, you know? But what a lot of us tend to do is we aren't in awe of God's creation within us, you know what I mean? And so but we get we criticize it, you know, that inner critic comes out. No, no, absolutely. And we could feel really guilty and shameful for that, right?

And so often the inner critic is the past voices from our childhood. There really no longer relevant anymore. I love the passion translation of paul's words, he fastened his heart to the future and that is so important to really release the past and fasten our heart to the future. I love that version. And it's so powerful for me to think about that, to acknowledge my past and take the good from it because it has made me who I am and the trials have made me strong. Um the hard circumstances helped refine my character, but I'm choosing to fasten my heart to the future. I'm not fastening it to the past, unfastened it there and fascinating to where I'm going and that is really powerful. So now really going forward, just look at those past experiences as empowering lessons, you know, to move forward. What are things that you can take from even horrible situations that you can carry into the future, you know, into your motherhood, into your marriage, into your friendships, into your influence of other women, you know, all around you.

I mean, take an empowering lesson from those that you can share and you can grow and another huge thing is right down what you see in your future. You know, write down who is it you want to be. You know, you can even write down what you're wanting to cast off from your past is there blame our their excuses that you make in your head that you need to cast off our their limiting beliefs that you have formed labels that you have believed that you need to cast off and then dream of your future self, you know, dream of what you want to do, dream of who you want to be, you know what kind of mom do you want to be, what kind of life do you want to be? What kind of friend do you want to be? What, how do you want to be just within yourself, your confidence, you know your purpose. I mean just dream and write those things down because when you write them down, it solidifies and then your brain is going to be like, oh okay, we're going to do this is what we're doing. Yeah. And it'll start looking evidence for that woman that you want to be that she is now. It's really interesting how it works and being that choosing who I want to become has been really fun because as it develops, its exciting, wow I am getting more confident, wow, I am getting more efficient all these things, the woman I want to be as I'm becoming, it's really exciting and it builds on itself when I like what you said, I am, you know you were stating a lot of I am statements and that's exactly what we do when you write down on a piece of paper in your journal or on a sticky note I am dot dot dot like what do you want to be, write it down as if you already are and you will your brain will start looking for evidence to make that happen and it's almost like a fake it till you make it.

You know, you're not gonna believe it right away, You're not gonna believe like, oh, I'm not organized or I'm not confident, I'm not, I do not write those down friends, but write down, I am wonderfully made, I am loved, I am redeemed, I am important. You know, write down, I am statements that will solidify in your brain and you will start working towards those, even in your unconscious mind is going to be like, okay, we're going to make this happen and it is so powerful and life changing. Absolutely! So friends. We really hope you enjoyed this episode. We are so glad that you've been following along. Please do not forget to subscribe and share with a friend spread the love and we hope you have a wonderful day. Friends, thank you so much for tuning in with us today. We hope this episode has brought you one step closer to living the life you love. Until next time, remember the world needs who you were made to be

Cast the Past
Cast the Past
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