3 Keys to Looking Back at Your Life
Visiting SoFla

A couple of weekends ago Bri and I had the opportunity to visit our families in South Florida. The trip was wonderful! I was given the privilege to speak at my home church, Bri and I were finally able to quench our Cuban food cravings; but even more exciting, we were finally able to find out the gender of our baby! This November Bri and I will be expecting a BABY BOY! We truly could not be more thrilled!  

Apart from the church visiting, Cuban food eating, and gender revealing; I was also able to go out on my Dad’s boat. This was actually the first time I had been out on his boat as it was gifted to him shortly before Bri and I moved to Virginia. We launched the boat in Ft.Lauderdale but rode the coast all the way down to Miami, right outside the apartment where Bri and I spent our first year of marriage. 

Quantum on the Bay

Bri and I lived on the 33rd floor of the Quantum on the Bay building. We payed a stupid ill advised amount of money for rent, but dished it out because we wanted an experience — something her and I would share for years. We had a one bedroom apartment that overlooked downtown Miami. So while we didn’t have the luxury of an ocean view, being able to see the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat play right outside our balcony was still really cool. 

Looking Back

I have to be honest, seeing Quantum was a bit of a sentimental moment for me, not because I missed it, but because of how much has happened since living there. Since Quantum, I have had three jobs (including the one I have now), graduated with my Bachelors, experienced both falling outs and reconciliations with close friends, felt the heavy pain of three miscarriages, reconsidered my purpose in life, moved to Virginia, and bought a dog. I could keep going, but I’ll save you the boredom. 

You see, I believe looking back at our lives is a necessity. It’s a healthy practice. But I also believe there is a right way to do it. 

1.) Look back…occasionally

First of all, I don’t think we ought to look back at our lives constantly. We can get stuck in the past. Stuck in the “good ol’ days”. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with reminiscing, I just believe we’re a danger to both ourselves and others when we drive while fixated on the rear view mirror.

Here’s a thought — create “good ol’ days” in the present. Laugh more now. Build lasting relationships now. Love fiercely — now. In short, take advantage of the present. Learn to make the most of every second. I believe with that approach we’ll simply be bouncing from good ol’ day to good ol’ day. 

2.) Look back…with gratitude

So as it turns out, those painful moments, those times of great stress, those times that you felt you had no escape – didn’t kill you. I hate to be morbid, but the fact is – you made it! You are still here. You are still chugging along. Be grateful. 

Now believe me, I am in no way trying to downplay the struggles that some have had in their pasts. I am just suggesting that we look back at those moments with gratitude, as they have made us stronger, wiser, and more capable of handling the challenges ahead. 

Here is another tip, look back at the answered prayers of your past, and shoot God a “thank you” once again. Sometimes simply looking back with gratitude, and acknowledging His hand over our lives in the past, stirs up the faith we need in the present. 

3.) Look back…with expectation

This next point is an important one. Now I don’t care who you are, or what you do or don’t believe in — expectation is everything. If we look back at our lives and think, “the best of life is behind us”, then you know what — the best of life is behind us. But if we look back (with gratitude of course) and with the expectation that the best is yet to come — then the best is yet to come.  

Life is about constant progression, but progression first begins in the mind. We have to CHOOSE to be expectant, as life won’t force this conviction upon us. On the contrary, I would venture to say society would have us believe our future looks bleak. To them I’d give a 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not sight”. 

Truth is, If we banked solely on how things looked, we’d never move ahead. 

Final Thoughts

Our past is exactly that — in the past. Life moves too fast to get hung up on what once was. The best thing we can do is look ahead, while taking a few glances behind us every once in a while. 

Look back with gratitude. Look back with expectation. But like the saying goes, “Look, don’t touch”. In other words, leave the past right where it belongs. 

For more thoughts on the moments of life (past, present, and future) check out:  https://rickygallinar.com/2018/02/22/polaroids-panoramics-film/