When I lie awake at night, letting my thoughts stir round and round in my head, I know that the only way I can fall asleep is if I write whatever it is down. I sit up, open my laptop and stare at a blank word document, until my fingers tap on my keyboard and within minutes, words appear on the page that spell out exactly what is bothering me.
Every now and again I like to read over what I write in those moments, because I think in some ways what I write then is the most honest, and the purest way that I can gather my thoughts together. For me it is in the silence of the night that the rest of the world is quiet enough for my thoughts to be heard.
Recently when I read over things I had written in my midnight madness, I saw a repetitive theme of the past and so I thought that I would write about it on here, and share some of the advice that I gave myself at some point between one am and four am in the last few weeks.
"Accepting the past is about acknowledging that all the things you have done and all the things you have been through, for the good and bad, are very much a part of who you are. Acceptance is the first part of moving forward and I think that when you have grasped that, you leave yourself with the foundation to build on.
You can take all the things you have learnt and develop yourself into the person that you want to be. It is about recognising that whilst your past will always be a part of who you are, it is not the only thing that you are.
I think the best decision I ever made was to move forward. I think through moving forward I have been able to strengthen the person I am into someone that I know will be able to take the weight of the future.
Thinking about the future is scary, it makes you wonder if you will ever be able to escape, it makes you doubt yourself and your capabilities and whether you will ever be able to truly leave behind your past. but I think that the best way to escape your past is to run into it with open arms.
It is about embracing your mistake, the places where you tripped and fell so that the next time you will know what to do. If you embrace your past then you can use it all to build a future and with your future at the tip of your fingers, you will be able to accomplish anything.
You can't move forward without letting go, and whilst I know letting go is going to be so hard, once you are free to reach out and grab whatever opportunity you are faced with, the past won't seem so troubled anymore.
Instead you will look back and wonder how you made it through the hark times, with nothing to guide you. But you will also know that it was all those things that are very much a part of who you are now. You will know that the reason you carry round a flashlight at all times is so that when you get lost again, you will be able to find you way. You know that when you go swimming, you make sure you jump in with both feet, but wearing a life jacket, so that you can feel the water against your skin without tempting fate and struggling not to drown.
But the best thing about the past is that it gives you lessons for the future, and I think when your past is as clouded as mind, it is the lessons that we extract that will stick with us and shape us for life. It isn't about seeing everything for the bad, it is about taking the bad and turning it into the good."
So I think what midnight me is trying to tell you, is that you need to let go of the past in order to build a future. But letting go of the past doesn't mean forgetting where you came from, or how far you have fought to get here. Letting go means taking with you all the things you have learnt, but leaving behind all the negative associations and memories that you have as well.
I hope this was helpful insight,
LF, LR and MG