“What if I had pursued that dream?”
“What if I could make correct the bad decisions I made in my life?”
“I wish that incident never took place. If only I knew the outcome……….”
Do any of these statements ring a bell?
We all have made mistakes and experienced setbacks and many times we wish we could rewind the clock of life and correct them. Some of these mistakes and setbacks have altered, and at times, completely changed the direction of our lives. Some of the mistakes have left big scars that have been difficult to heal or are still bleeding and sore.
We look back at these events and wonder what might have been had we not made those mistakes or encountered those setbacks? I know right now you may be wondering what could have been if you had taken that job, pursued that relationship, or completed that course, etc.
We discover that as a result of those mistakes and setbacks, we do not seem to expect much out of what is left of our lives. We live by the “anything is better than nothing” policy, trying to survive the rest of our lives. We beat ourselves up daily for making those mistakes or going through those setbacks. And to sum it all, we feel like we have missed our opportunity and that ship has sailed.
Today you might be one of those people who are living life wondering what might have been. You keep rehashing “If only I knew, if only I listened”. You feel like your dreams have eluded you and they are now out of reach because of these setbacks. You feel like that dream that has been weighing in your heart is for others to accomplish and its beyond your reach. To make it worse, we have to navigate through more obstacles in the form of human judgments and perceptions.
Where you thought the landmines of your past mistakes and setbacks existed, you now realize that they are compounded by human judgment and perceptions. You feel like anyone who knows you perceives you as a failure. Your culture and traditions contradicts where your life is today. If you come from a culture where getting married is considered a success and you are not married, you feel like a failure. If having babies is considered a success in your culture, owning a home, or being in a certain profession, then you feel like a failure. These perceptions and judgments make you feel ashamed of yourself and kills your spirit to survive.
We need to break free from these perceptions and man-made traditions. We have allowed stereotypes and archaic traditions to define the parameters of our success. For example, I remember when I was launching my ministry I was told I would not succeed because I did not have the qualities they deemed a minister should have. It is over ten years now and I am still serving the Lord in the capacity of an ordained minister.
It is still possible for you to live again. It is still possible for that dream to come alive. Yes! It is possible no matter where you are or who you are, it is possible to live and not just get by.
“Temporary setbacks create opportunities for fresh commitment and renewal. A setback is usually a set up.”
-Bishop T. D Jakes-