How to Not Use Your Past as an Excuse to Fail

Geez. Life is hard and bad things–sometimes REALLY bad things–happen. Like…divorce and poverty and abuse. Oh, and the worst thing–death. Yep, the worst thing is definitely the death of someone that you love more than you love your own life. Trust me–I know.

It’s so easy to fall back on those things as a reason(the word “reason” here is really just a stand-in for the more appropriate word “excuse”) for not only the bad decisions you make but also the positive decisions that you don’t make. It’s super simple to not go forward in your life by saying, “Well, look what happened to me!”, or to justify a bad choice using something like “Why wouldn’t I drink?”

It gets worse even. It’s no problem at all to get other people on board with your plan (or non-plan). Witnesses to the tragedies and hardships that have been your life actually EXPECT you to wind up broken, addicted, dependent, mentally incompetent, homeless, and/or lost. When you can’t come up with an excuse on your own, they will often come up with one for you! “Leave her alone. She deserves to drink after all that has happened to her!” Sound familiar? It may have happened to you or you may have said something like that yourself. Don’t stress over it. We are all guilty of that kind of justification at one point in our lives. I’ve already said that life was hard.

But…what if you rewrite your story? I know you can’t change the beginning. There’s nothing you can do about the way it has played out up to this point. What you can change is the present, and by changing your “present,” you will not be able to keep from impacting your future! Better yet, what if you go ahead and admit that you just can’t do any of this on your own, and hand it over to the one true Higher Power–God? He can write you a new story entirely.

Instead of using your heartbreak and brokenness as an excuse, use it as a REASON to pick up the pieces and rebuild your life with them. Let God create in you a new heart, and then you can fashion a new life from what you have learned in your brokenness. Sure, it won’t be the same life that you thought you would have. It’s time to let go of all your expectations. When you trust God fully with your life, you don’t need your plans (which of course have never succeeded anyway, am I right?). It is time to embrace your different life. Your new and wonderful, beautiful, different life!

I refuse to let my losses define me. I will not let my precious son be an excuse for living an existence of which I am ashamed! I won’t quit trying to better myself. I want to be better than I am–I want to do better–to be MORE than I am right now! It’s because of the hurts from my past that I can now see that pain in others and try to help them through it.

My mess has become my message. Let the same be said of you.