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Never be held back by the past

By Dickson Tumuramye

OPINION | The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience, said Eleanor Roosevelt, the U.S. First Lady and human rights activist.

We all experience challenges and temptations in life. There are so many waves that heat us from all sides and you find yourself pushed to the wall.

I look at the exodus of Israelites after they had immediately left Egypt and I can say they were in total dilemma. Imagine before you is a big (Red) sea and you cannot continue. You then opt to retreat and maybe return back to a miserable life than dying in the wilderness. Looking behind, you realize your enemies are running after you with all mighty.

I don’t know what you would do if you were the one in such a state of quagmire. Notably, that is what we go through in our daily lives. There are so many things that come to squeeze us. Problems usually surface at the same time as if they had planned it. They often overwhelm us, and for some, they tend to think they are born unfortunate in life. When your mind heeds a lot to them, you start to think about so many options. You begin to be remember the very small things that happened to you years back. You are forced to think there is some kind of trend that has been going on in your life. Before you know it, stress comes up which can end up into depression.

We have all gone through some extreme experiences in the past, but they should not hold you back. There is always a ray of hope for the future. There are some challenges you overcame without knowing it. Such should be an encouragement to us that if I went through that horror, even this, I will overcome. Never dwell on your misery, it will also pass and life will continue. Just know that you can take the next thing that comes along and succeed like any other person.

What you need is self motivation, not self condemnation. You need to speak to yourself that you are special and created uniquely. Don’t compare yourself with others. They are walking/driving in their lane and you are also in your own lane.  All cars on the road can never drive at the same pace. Everyone’s journey is different. The reason why twins also can’t come out the same time.

Understand yourself other than making comparisons which are sometimes unrealistic and can’t take you anywhere. They may only cause bitterness and frustration. They will grossly affect not only your life but your family too. The children will experience secondary stress because you have failed to control the situation.

What finally starts proceeding out of your mind-set can be poison to your children. It’s not that you intend it, but the functionality of your mind is controlled by the feelings you are experiencing.

You may be tempted to look at your children and judge them as stupid and hopeless because of doing things below your expectations. The whole life around you may seem like a mess. Stop looking at your child as someone without a future because s/he is not doing well in class or s/he is slow at doing home chores. The way we intend to focus on the negatives in our lives affects the way we appreciate life. Positive thoughts lead to positive things. The past can’t be changed.

Dwelling so much on the past can sow seeds of poisonous bitterness. Yet this may not solve your problems. Remember any path you choose to take as a parent affects our children in one way or the other. No amount of disappointments and discouragement should deter you from taking good care of your children. Happiness comes from within you.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1:9). It’s time to turn your wounds into wisdom and steadily move on to greater heights.

The writer is a child advocate.

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