Of all the quotes I’ve used in my weekly inpirations up until now, I found this one to be the most confusing.
On first reading, it doesn’t even make sense. I had to read it at least 5 times before I could comprehend what it said, yet that was only the beginning. As I walk further along ‘The Way’, I find it makes more and more sense. These few words tell a whole story, but only to those who are willing to listen.
Often we find that we define ourselves by our past and the experiences of our past. We allow these thoughts, feelings and memories of the past to control our thoughts, feelings and beliefs of who we are in the present and therefore, the future.
Sometimes it’s more than just our own expectations on ourselves, we can also allow others expectations of us to define us.
When I was at high school I found it difficult to be who I felt I truly was, deep down. This was because of the expectations I believed my family and friends had of me, based on who I’d been up until that point. I remember wanting to change, but not knowing how, and it wasn’t until I moved away that I felt I could step up to that inner calling.
If we live our lives stuck in the past, how can we develop, grow and progress any more than we have in the past? Or, if something awful has happened to us in the past and we can’t let it go, how can we emerge a better person and fulfill our true potential?
We can’t. Instead, we get stuck and never move on.
As Lao Tzu says, in order to emerge from the past we must first shed it. We must let go of beliefs that no longer serve us and give ourselves permission to be exactly who we want to be at this minute. We must fully embrace the change.
In doing this, we give ourselves room to grow to our full potential, to evolve and to ‘become what we might be’.