Quite often we are told if we look back it can hinder forward progress because we are concentrated on the past, instead of focusing on the present and future. A visual metaphor often associated with this common belief is one turning his or her head looking back while walking, unable to see what’s in front of them, and either falls or becomes paralyzed with fear because of the inability to see where he or she is headed, resulting in movement stopping altogether.
As a counselor I see the value in looking back, as it can help us understand a variety of things that can assist us in letting go, making better choices, and moving forward. Clearly, if one becomes too fixated or preoccupied with the past, looking back can become an unhealthy behavior. However, today I received further confirmation that there are times when we should look back. A few reasons could be:
1. To see how far you’ve come & appreciate where you are.
2. To reminisce over great times.
3. To reflect over lessons learned and embrace them.
4. To remember that time flies so you can appreciate each moment.
5. To motivate you to keep working on your goals so you don’t move backwards.
6. To share stories so your offspring are knowledgeable of the family’s lineage.
7. To remember you once were, in fact, skinny ;).
This evening I was looking at my 25 week-old’s newborn pictures, taken the day after she entered this world (I can’t believe how much she has grown!). After 14 hours of the induction process, 12 hours of active labor, and 42 minutes of pushing; I gave birth to the most beautiful cone-headed alien ever created! It’s amazing when I reminisce over the very first moment I laid eyes on her, how I could see familial resemblance, but at the time she really didn’t look human. Therefore I could not really say who she looked like because “her look” wasn’t distinctive (although we did start claiming body parts~my eyes, my nose, my lips, my hands, my feet, oh my, my, my!). We were very eager to stake a claim in that precious princess!
Looking back and comparing how she looks now, I see in the picture of that 1 day old angel every feature she possesses today. Obviously, today those features are more developed and will continue to as she grows, however it’s amazing to me how in those initial moments following 2:01 pm on July 10, 2012; I couldn’t fully make out exactly who the alien-girl looked like, but now equipped with clearer vision, I see what was there from the beginning.
Motherhood has truly been a spiritual evolution for me, beginning the moment I read the positive results on the home pregnancy test (both of them ;)). In falling in love with my daughter, I understood through manifested personal experience how God loves us, so pure and unconditional, as for the first time in my life I loved another person in the same exact way. A mother’s love isn’t tainted by life’s challenges that naturally occur during the building of adult relationships. It is void of faults, fights, the blame game, projection of personal issues, baggage, compromise, and all the things that become the foundation of the walls we build around ourselves as a result of the aforementioned. The things that causes us to block love.
Perusing my daughter’s newborn photos today taught me this: when we are going through the storms of life unable to appreciate any beauty in those moments because we choose to focus only on what is wrong; once God has delivered us from the storm and we look back, we are able to see in us what He saw all along.
There is beauty in every dark moment of life. Look for the light and see yourself how God sees you.
- A Divine Perspective: the view from a mountain’s peak (matthewtapp.wordpress.com)
- the divine (magpielark.wordpress.com)