How to Salvage your past:

Again, let me quote the late Frank Zappa: “You are what you is”.  Now let me add, hopefully not what you were.  With every new second or breath we should become a better person.  By this I don’t mean necessarily richer or physically superior; rather smarter, more compassionate and understanding.  (And all of the other good qualities that would make you a yen/yang balanced human).

Did you know that people that graduated Phi Beta Kappa have some of the same problems as people that were hungry and neglected growing up?  It’s true.  Sometimes, having your parents lay out your future for you is almost as bad as being raised by wolves.  Your past is a memory.  In fact, by the time your mind processes these words your reading, they will be a memory.  Yet when you look back on your past, think about what has STUCK in your mind.  Was it a horrific abusive ass kicking you got from a supposed loved one?  Or even worse, was it a time of joy and harmony that got ripped from you like someone tearing your heart out?

Whatever the case may be, take some time and go back over the worst aspects of your former life, (because that’s what it is. The person you used to be) and “glean” the good that came from it.  There do not exist any amnesia pills that will make you forget the troublesome aspects of your life.  But once you realize that the past is just a memory, it can’t harm you anymore like it did the first time you fell off off your bicycle.

Depending on your Age, go over your

Developmental years: The time you were dependent on your parents

The Years of finding your footing: When you got your first job and apartment.

The Constructive years:  The years you started contributing to society.

The years of winter: After the divorce, after the nest became empty, and when contemplating or living in retirement.
You can find plenty of great tools and skills/experiences you can hold on to from each of these 4 seasons.  During the developmental years, you can see how what you thought was important then is meaningless now.  You may have feared the death of your parents now you realize that your time is next in the queue and that life for your survivors will go on until it’s their turn.  You can appreciate how important learning is, whether it be your ABCs or the Pythagorean therom.  Learning is valuable.

In your years of standing, you learn how to set achievable goals.  You think about the 5% you retained from College.  You work your way up the ladder of success. (Sometimes finding it against the wrong wall)

In your constructive years, you start to wonder if you’re doing what you are doing for the money or for the contribution to mankind.  You may have done things in your “Job” that help you now such as good communication skills, or Professionalilsm.

Winter: You covet that which is truly important in your life.  It’s something a special few learn from having really wonderful parents who are at that stage of life.  For some reason, I can’t see Ann and Mitt Romney saying: “You better decide quickly because when you turn 18, you’re out of this house”.   And perhaps more than anything, you become more proactive and try to predict unintended consequences. As the result of not staying a step ahead often means falling 3 steps behind.

It’s like going through boxes in the garage and finding that old jacket that still fits.  Or finding a wedding gift that you never appreciated at the time but now you take joy in using it when guests come over.  You don’t always have to remember the fights or bad decisions.  You’re a new person everyday.  Be the best version of yourself you can be.

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