Updated: Apr 24, 2019
BIBLICAL POINT OF REFERENCE:
"The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you."
Have you ever had to record a presentation for a class or project or something and then watch it afterward? Or maybe you’ve written a paper and you still have to go through and edit it, so you end up reading that paper several more times?
Most of us hate looking back on our previous work. We don’t want to see what we did or wrote or how we acted in our past because we don’t like focusing on who we were. No—we want to focus on who we are now, and more importantly, who we’re going to be.
If you’re thinking this is just me leading to the cliche, “Learn from your past mistakes,” stay with me a little while longer; I promise I’m not about to repeat what you’ve been told since birth.
I found one of my journals the other day—not my diary, as I don’t and never will have a diary—but one of my journals from the past. It was my journal from my trip to Europe almost a year ago. I know I talk about my trip a lot, but reading my journal from that time in my life helped me understand why: My trip to Europe changed me. Not just the trip though, my past changed me. My past experiences, recorded in a journal with a thousand grammar and spelling errors, changed me and have made me who I am today.
I don’t necessarily like rereading my writing. I don’t think I’m the best writer, which is why I don’t usually go through my articles over and over again. I don’t even really like watching past theatre performances or videos from my Color Guard days because I know I am my own worst critic, and I will tear myself apart with the snap of a finger. But as much as I don’t like putting myself through that kind of torture, I know that there is something to be gained from doing so.
You see, if I never looked back on who I was, I wouldn’t be able to see who I am now and how I got here. And it’s important to know who you are! It’s important to acknowledge your life! God gave us our lives, and they’re worth living, no matter how ridiculous you think you looked and acted when you were younger. We don’t encourage ourselves and others to look back on our past selves because we are afraid of what we might find, but that’s a big mistake, because the past is the past, and it is unchangeable. Why should we be afraid of something that cannot be changed when we have the power to create change now?
So if you find that homemade video from your childhood, or you stumble across your old artwork or old pieces of writing, do yourself a favor and see what you were thinking and doing at that time. Acknowledge that that time has made you who you are now, and that it is okay use those memories to build a brighter future.
Your Laughing Sister,