By Marilyn Fowler
Have you ever looked at your life and wondered where the time went? We’ve all done it, and then we wonder if we could have done a better job with our life. We may ask: Could I have avoided the mistakes? Should I have made better choices? Did I waste my talents? How did I get where I am? And why?
It’s wise to sometimes evaluate today to create a better tomorrow. But it’s also wise to look inside to see how we feel about our past and where our journey has led us. Of course, we made some mistakes and poor choices in the past, but maybe we had to climb those mountains in order to learn what we needed to know to move forward. And getting stuck in regret, self-criticism or blame can sabotage where we want to go now.
A few years ago I was stuck in regret, and the following poem helped me forgive myself and move on.
NO OTHER WAY by Martha Smock
Could we but see the pattern of our days,
We should discern how devious were the ways
By which we came to this, the present time,
This place in life; and we should see the climb
Our soul has made up through the years.
We should forget the hurts, the wanderings, the fears,
The wastelands of our life, and know
That we could come no other way or grow
Into our good without these steps our feet
Found hard to take, our faith found hard to meet.
The road of life winds on, and we like travelers go
From turn to turn until we come to know
The truth that life is endless and that we
Forever are inhabitants of all eternity.
Every decision you’ve made was based upon your knowledge at the time, and hopefully each turn in the road made you wiser. Leave the steps you took in the past back there where they belong, and live each day as it comes. We move with time, and whether you know it or not, you are quite different today than you were yesterday, and you will not be the same tomorrow. Love each new day and the continued newness in you.
Keep your eyes and heart on the road ahead.
Marilyn Fowler a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist. Her professional experience includes Team Leader, then Director of Mental Health Services in the Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, Florida; coordinating mental health services in five nursing homes, working on in-patient units, and in private practice for a number of years. She teaches a class at the University of North Florida on The Influence of Childhood Messages on Adult Life, I belong to the Chat Noir Writers Circle, and I write a self-help blog. (www.marilyngf.blogspot.com)
Her memoir, Silent Echoes, was published three years ago, and her stories have appeared in several magazines and a book entitled, When God Spoke To Me. I’m now working on a fictional story, with a video on You Tube (Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Chapter 1) reciting the first chapter in costume using southern dialect.