Photo and Story by
Elizabeth Vierra Hall
They say that we should never look back when trying to heal and move forward with our lives. I beg to differ. Although I completely understand the concept and agree for the most part, I feel that it is imperative that we, occasionally, look back for one specific reason; and that is to see how far we have come on our journey. Looking back on occasion can be uplifting when we feel like our growth is taking us forever, or, we feel stuck and anxious to move forward faster than our present circumstances is allowing.
Keeping a journal as we go through our individual journey of life can be one of the healthiest things we can do for our growth and support. It makes looking back a little easier to experience without wallowing in the past or constantly spinning in our heads. I think the fear of looking back is that we will “vacation” there, which is not healthy. Looking back can always cause us to maybe feel a little sad or depressed, but I feel that if you are hell bent on making some serious changes and growth and go to into it with a positive attitude, looking back on what you’ve learned, how you have chosen to handle it, and how far you’ve come can be such an uplifting and supportive part of your “healthy” journey of life.
Part of our journey is to make sure we have a balance of recognizing our lessons already learned, remembering them for future “tests in life”, and trying to be disciplined to not going back to the way things were while you are growing. Having your accomplishments written down is your own personal support unit that you can have available anytime you need it. Sometimes the best support we can have is reading about where we’ve been, how we gotten through it and compare that person then to where you have come today. Friends, family and counseling can be support to us as well, but not on such a personal growth level as your own story you experience and write yourself. There’s a special feeling of accomplishment when reflecting.
Not everyone is fond of keeping a journal and I must admit, I don’t do so on a regular basis, but what you can do, is jot down in a notebook, your phone, computer or whatever suits your needs, anything that comes to your mind and/or heart that you feel is like an “ah ha!” moment. You may even want to put it in an email and email yourself. Make a folder with your name on it in your email account and keep it all there. Keep your written thoughts somewhere you can refer to when you need a little reassurance. Just try it. You’ll see what I mean.
Everyone’s journey is different; as it should be. Life is tough and seems to be getting tougher these days and while everyone seems to jump in on the madness of this life like kids trying to jump in that jump rope going backwards as we did when we were kids, we tend to struggle through life by just going along with whatever is happening instead of taking time to experience our journey. No one is perfect, not this side of heaven. Everyone has something to learn. Everyone has growing to do. Find what works best for you and live it. Shake things up. Try something new. You just may be surprised.
Have a wonderful journey! Until next time.