One of my previous students came to visit me in New York last month; Kenn now lives in Boston so it was a real treat. During the visit, I had the rare opportunity of seeing the student become the teacher.
The longer some of us walk the Earth, the easier it is to get lost. In recent years, I have overcome more than I can say here. But that doesn't mean my life-GPS is fully functional. Frankly, it just means I'm tough as hell. So when my former student reversed our typical roles, and encouraged me to move forward despite my fears, it reminded me of C. S. Lewis and his famous quote:
"Don't focus on the regrets of the past, instead, look at all the AWESOME ahead...."
In two weeks, I'll be standing on stage with audiences as large as 1,800 people performing seven shows in three days. I will entertain the crowds, make them laugh, make them cheer, make them clap. I will share the stage with Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated talents; those same talented people will smile at me, hug me, thank me. And I will do it all over again the next month and the next, and the next. And yet, four years ago, I could barely get out of bed.
So when Kenn offered me his sage advice, I knew he was telling the truth. Because I've already lived it. My life today has improved 100-fold because I chose not to focus on the past, but instead believe that there was something far, far better in my future. Why? I have no idea, and it's never the relevant question anyway. The better question is, "Why not?"
Why not imagine that the road ahead will take us tomorrow to where we can only imagine today??? What are you leaving behind but memories? Change has already happened, even if you haven't caught up to it yet. Kenn reminded me of that very important detail.
Evolution doesn't stop. And neither do you. You are constantly evolving, even those who don't like change are still changing. To deny it is to deny yourself forward momentum. When you pretend change isn't happening, you create a misery-vacuum, and everyone connected to your life gets sucked in. To climb out again is extraordinarily difficult. A fresh new hell, but here on Earth.
Perhaps C. S. Lewis wasn't so wrong after all? Perhaps we do move toward heaven when we leave the past where it belongs...in the past.