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Let the Race Refine You

The quickest way to my pain and depression is to live in the past, carrying my regrets. Maybe that’s been your experience too. I don’t know why we do that to ourselves. What will living in our past do for us now? Nothing. It robs us of joy. It robs us of living in the present. It robs us of hope for our future.

I have been living and breathing my past for years.

I walk in it.

I touch it daily.

I feed it.

It surrounds me.

I talk to it.

It haunts me.

I run from it but it finds me.

I can’t run long distance. I try but it always finds me before I reach the finish line. I finally realized I’ll never reach the finish line if I don’t stay in the race.

It’s time to join the race.

So what if I walk sometimes? It’s my own race anyway.

So what if I fall? I’ve had the strength to get back up before.

So what if I get behind? I should know, I’m never really behind anyway. I’m always right where I am.  And why would I think I’m “behind” anyone at all? No one else has walked in my shoes, worn my jersey or seen me at practice.

They don’t know what my practices have looked like.

There are some things in this race I didn’t train for.

No one could have trained for.

That’s the freedom of it though. I get to choose how I run my race. I get to make the decisions. I don’t have to answer to anyone. It’s my own time I’m running against. No one else’s. 

Stay in your lane. 

We all get to choose how fast or how slow we go. We can also choose to not even run the race at all.

Give up.

Give in.

No show.

I’ve been there - sidelining it.

Watching others run. Watching others celebrate victory and defeat. Watching others walk and some sprint. Watching others fall, get injured and get back up. Watching myself get comfortable with others who are not running either. We aren’t here to watch others experience life. We aren’t here to live our life in someone else’s lane or through someone else’s eyes.

But we do. Why, what do we gain from it?

I’ve spent more time living in my past than living in my present. What a waste of time. The worst thing you can do for yourself is live in your past. Why have I made my past my present? I am the only one that can control my destiny. I choose to either spend time living in regret and depression or living with hope and in the present.

Sometimes it seems impossible.

Too hard to run.

Too hard to carry the weight.

That’s ok! We have to be compassionate with ourselves because the quickest way to steal the joy from your present is to live in your past.

Be you. Right where you are at. Right now. 

We all have a past. We all have regrets. We can’t hide it, run from it or think it will just go away. We can try. But it doesn’t go away. It’s apart of who we are. So why not make peace with the past instead of running from it, or with it?

It’s heavy, let it go to a better place.

You’re not running so well with it.

Let your past sit on the sidelines instead of weighing you down.

It’s better there.

You can look at it, wave to it and acknowledge it. It’s always going to be a part of you. So find a place it can rest within you. Shake hands with your past and go your separate ways. Let it watch you run your race. Don’t let it run for you.

I know it’s hard. Accept it.

The best thing you could ever do for yourself is to learn how to accept. Do you want to clear the agony inside your head?

Accept who you are.

Accept the dumb, embarrassing and woulda-shoulda-coulda-things. Laugh about it if you must. What can you do now? Does the past change if you laugh or cry? So why not give yourself the compassion to do either...or neither!

Accept what’s happened and what you’ve done because of what’s happened.

Accept the good with the bad.

Accept that you can’t do some things like some people can.

Accept who you are.

Accept your past.

Accept your regrets.

Accepting doesn’t mean you agree with it or like it but it will help you get off the ground and get back in the race! 

...and, remember: the race isn’t over.

Lindsy Brewer

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