A big steaming cup of UGH! Can you think of a mistake that changed the direction of your life? That made you grow? C.S. Lewis said “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”
Let’s keep it real here—that you thought would mortify you to death but that you just laugh about now?
I remember the time as a teenager that I was modeling some clothes in a local boutique. A very high end boutique. Clothing changes had to be quick and no one was there to double check the view before I stepped out onto the floor. After a too-quick check in the dressing room mirror out I sauntered in some fancy outfit. After a few minutes wander through the store I went back to change and caught a glimpse of the rear view. Caught a bit too much of the rear view actually. I had wandered elegantly around the floor with the back of the dress tucked up into my pantyhose. Pure mortification as only a 17 year old can feel it! I hid in the dressing room until the handful of shoppers left.
Important lesson learned–how to laugh at oneself.
AND–check that mirror twice.
Many memories are of much greater significance than this goofy one. Some we’ll always look back on with tears. Things we’d do or say differently. There are times I wish I’d been kinder, more compassionate, more patient, more courageous. Yes, but there are times I got it right too, stood firm, went the extra mile, loved not perfectly but well. Can you turn around and take a good look at where you are now? Where you’re going?
Your past shapes your present and future but it does not trap you.
Ask those you care for about the transformative moments in their lives. Try to hit these three main categories:
Give someone the gift of listening to their story and help them pull up memories and emotions that make them who they are today. You just might learn something!