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Look Back, Move Forward

As time passes by, I reflect on things I could have done and what life could have been. Some of it makes me smile, some of it makes me smirk, and some of it makes me sigh. But I accept that all of it combined to make me who I am. My thoughts, choices, and actions are all elements of the mixture that produced the substance that defines me. Some people tell me they hate to look back. They

want to leave the past in the past and move forward. I believe in moving forward, but sometimes you have to look back to move forward.

Looking back is a way of taking inventory, consisting of more than merely determining the quantity or counting what you have. Instead, look back and take inventory by categorizing and prioritizing the smiles, smirks, and sighs. Categorizing is a method of ranking, grouping, and grading items. It helps me to recognize trends in my experiences, exploits, failures, and accomplishments. Prioritizing allows me to acknowledge the weight, influence, and importance of each item in my development. Together, categorizing and prioritizing reveals the value and consequence of every smile, smirk, and sigh, helping me evaluate my choices better and make decisions that guide me as I move forward to my desired destination.

Looking back without fear but with purpose helps me control my life’s plan—mapping out clear directions and defining a detailed agenda. The step of reflecting on the past also reminds me that I have overcome. So, challenges don’t appear unmovable; instead, I creatively and patiently chip away at them a little at a time because I recognize they will one day be nothing more than an old memory.

Now instead of basking in my smiles, dreading the thought of my smirks, and trying hard to block the memories that come with my sighs, I embrace them all—equally. I add new encounters to my historical inventory, making sure to categorize and prioritize them. Then as I journey through life, I can access the required items, pour them into my mixing bowl and stir until I get the right consistency to prepare what I need as I endeavor to move forward triumphantly.

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