I was speaking other night at a facility that houses people who are working to get their lives back on track, or maybe on track for the first time, these were people who were at their bottom, and if they weren’t they should have been, but some of us have many bottoms before we begin our journey out, and then there are some who never make it out and continue to bottom out until they run out of chances. I spoke honestly to them, and I looked at each of their faces as I told them my journey, ending with telling them that all the bad that’s happened to them is really good. I meant that, the bad is good, if we use those experiences to teach us and motivate us to learn and make better choices from there. When I said that they looked skeptical at first, but I could see, as it began to settle in, that look on some of their faces that if they look at those times as good, they then got to take their power back to change, and grow, and, find some good.
When I started my own journey from the darkness, I couldn’t see how everything I had been through, everything that had gotten me to where I was, was anything good. I still was in victim mode, thinking that all of those things were done to me and that I had no control over them, but in reality I played a part in most of them, and the ones I didn’t play a part in, I was still responsible for how I reacted to them, but I couldn’t see that at the beginning. It was a hard pill swallow when I had to take responsibility for my part in all of those things, especially the things I instigated that harmed me more than anyone else, those things were the hardest to come to terms with. I also let people harm me, thinking that I deserved it, or to continue to tell the story I wanted to tell, which was that I was a piece of crap who didn’t deserve anything good. Once I was able to forgive myself for all of those things, I was able to see the good that could come out it.
In reality, I had a blueprint of what not to do, of what didn’t work, and when you think about that, that’s a pretty good blueprint to have, that is some useful information, because, when we’re searching for new ways to do things, for better ways, for ways that honor us, we can always look back at what not to do, and, maybe try doing the opposite of that as an alternative. See, no matter what we’ve done in the past, it’s all good, it’s good because we are making a commitment to not take part in those activities and actions anymore, and we now have a wealth of information of what not to do, and in turn, a way for us to keep ourselves in check, when we are in doubt, we can look back and make sure we haven’t fallen back into old habits, or, we can see the progress we’ve made.
When I looked out to the room, to those faces that night, to those people who were looking for some hope, I smiled and told them I was once just like them, that we are all the same, we may look different, we may come from different backgrounds, have held different jobs, but at the end of the day, we, those of us who have gotten ourselves to our own personal bottoms, who have felt lost and alone, we all have the power to change to our stories, we have the power to step into the light and be our best selves, we can turn the bad into the good, and how do I know, because I’ve done it, and so can you. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Looking back, can you see how the things you used to label as bad can be looked at as good today? List 5 “bad” things that you can now see the good in. How, out of those things, can you take what happened, or your actions, and use them in a positive way today? How can you use that information to make better choices in the future? Good vs. bad is all a matter of perspective, we can extract some good out of almost any situation, and when we start looking for the good, and looking for the lessons, we start to change our outlook on our past and we see how it can be useful to our growth, it can also be empowering to look back and know, we’ve changed our patterns, we’ve broken the cycle, to become our best selves.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you