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Origin stories are important. They help us to orientate ourselves in the story we’re living. But we risk getting stuck in the past when we focus all our attention on where we began. At some point, we must also consider how we want our story to end. And in the final analysis this might be the greater issue.

Of course, every story has to start somewhere and is usually followed by some conflict to overcome. But part of what makes it a good story is how well it resolves this conflict. And it matters little whether this ending is prolonged or abbreviated. What matters is its ability to satisfactorily resolve the challenge the characters are trying to overcome.

And this is true for the story of our lives as well. On the one hand, we’re prone to remain lost and disorientated when we’re unaware of our origin story. But the opposite extreme can be just as dangerous – focusing exclusively on our past that we don’t consider our future.

This happens, for example, when we live ruminating on our past regrets and sins. Perhaps we hurt others deeply, missed meaningful opportunities, or just wasted the time and resources given to us on selfish pursuits. We feel bad about what we did and we must face the consequences of those decisions today. But our story is not over yet, and it’s a mistake to live as if it is.

We can acknowledge the heartache and pain that has brought us to this point in our story, fully taking responsibility for what’s ours to own. At the same time, we can decide to finish our story on a better note than what it started.

This is not to minimize or downplay how we got here. But it’s refusing to let this be the final word in our story when God has still given us the breath of life.

Learn from your past without letting your origin story hold you back. Make your story great by deciding how it will end.

Photo by Derek Mack on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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