A friend of mine was a professional boxer. He’s held titles and appeared on HBO‘s boxing programs. Our boys have grown up playing baseball together.
The other day, in casual conversation, I asked him if his son ever asked about learning to fight.
No, he told me, he hates it.
I’m in the midst of reading Ben Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent. In it he discusses how we process the past. The past, he writes, can be changed by how we access memories. Studies have shown the more memories are accessed the more they change. The past is malleable.
The past can be used to our advantage. The past can be shaped and constructed.
The present is an interaction between our past and future selves. If your future self could sit down with your past, what would they have to talk about? Hardy poses this question in his book and it hits hard.
I’ve had my share of pain in the past. It has taught me things though, it has laid down markers in the path that has become my life. It has taught me the meaning of love, the reality of faith, the value of fatherhood and the treasure of time.
It has taught me that running will not solve a problem, that fear is meant to be engaged with and understood. It has laid a valuable foundation. Your pain, your frustration and troubles have done the same.
For we have a choice.
A family member is critically ill right now. He’s a genuine person with a big heart and he’s immensely skilled in his profession. He’s fighting his battles right now, a conflict his future self is desperately trying to win.
This week I decided on a break from reading the news. I still find myself scrolling through the headlines, but I won’t click into anything. It took a day or two, but weight started to lift. My narrative was getting overwhelmed with dark and intense articles, the kind of things put in front of our faces on a daily basis.
Watch your input. Watch what you tell yourself. Watch what you tell your children.
Your input equals your output.
Your past does not have to equal your future.
Your future, though, needs room to breathe and grow. That can only be obtained through processing the pain, worry, and fear.
You can be different. You can be totally different.
You can be the first.
Be willing to do the work and take a break from the noise. Process the past. Look to the future. Win your battles one moment at a time.
You are not your labels, your past, your pandemic.
You are more and your story can start today.