Culture

Don’t stumble over something behind you

 

Facebook, at work, on the highway. Everywhere I look I am bombarded with pithy sayings. I think these are meant to be motivational and encourage me to live a better, more fulfilled life. As a New York curmudgeon, I often scoff at such pithy, supposedly insightful bits.  Ocassionally, however, one does manage to get through my New York skin and pierce either my heart, mind, or soul.

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This week, I deeply felt this piece of advice that was on my Facebook feed “Don’t stumble over something behind you.”   The saing supposedly comes from Roman philosopher Seneca.  And, to me, this couldn’t be truer. There are many things we may feel that we have been wronged by in life. We all may continously face incredible challenges in our lives. However, we have to always keep moving forward. We can focus on the here and now and not stumble today so that we keep a clear path tomorrow. But we also have to realize that we don’t always succeed in not stumbling today. And for those moments, we can’t stay stuck in a proverbial ditch.

 

Of course, we get tugged and pulled at by the past. And in many ways we do need a bit of that in order to learn and pull oneself out and forward. If there are no challenges, how do you grow?  I often tell people that it is ok to fail. And it should be. By being ok with failing we don’t stumble. We go “oops. That was bad but its all good.” I tend to laugh a lot and I can certainly laugh at my failures. I am also very hard on myself because, even though I’m ok with some failure, I still hate it. It doesn’t sit well in my stomach. But I work really hard to learn from my mistakes.

 

My whole life has been about forward movement. I need that energy. I like this song “No Roots.” I have written about it in the past. Back then I tied my love of the song to travel and living in so many places. But I think I also like that song because I don’t get bogged down, rooted down, in my past mistakes. So, in tought moments it isn’t enough to just know that “this too shall pass” but it is important to know that this will not hold me back.

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