If you look closely you will see the handprint on the wall.
I am not ashamed to admit I left it there in its perfectly-smudged form for about ten years and every time I flipped on the light in that room I could see that handprint, an echo of my past.
No one else knew about that hand smudge; it was my secret ritualistic game to look for it always waving at me every single time I entered the room.
Some months ago I had the entire room painted, including that spot, although for a brief moment I entertained the thought of framing that handprint and painting around it so as to preserve that tiny reminder of what used to be.
That handprint is a lot like our real-life made up echoes from our past. We’ve all got them. They’re the stories we believe about ourselves and about:
- why we are who we are
- why we do what we do
- why we can’t help ourselves
- why we behave in cyclical patterns that show up again and again, on repeat
Those are echoes, stories, see-able only by you every time you walk into that room of your past, the one with the handprint still on the wall because you’re holding onto it for sentimental reasons, and you have a ritual of seeking it out without anyone else noticing it waving at you.
Does that handprint/echo/story really serve you to keep it there?
Just as I could have easily wiped down the wall and erased the handprint, you, too, can erase the handprints that you’re currently keeping. Those handprints might be holding you back, inviting you into a past that no longer exists.
Say goodbye to the handprint, acknowledge the lessons and the blessings you’ve learned because it was part of your journey, and grab a sponge, a magic eraser, or a bucket of paint and gift yourself a clean wall.
You can only be held back by your past if you use it to reject yourself in the present. — Robert Holden
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