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Your past does not define your future

Kelera Kotobalavu
Sunday, March 03, 2013

"You can choose to be a victim of your past or a master of your own destiny" Dr John Demartini.

We all have a past. That's common to us all.

The wonderful truth is, we are each given the gift of choice.

We can make one of two choices — remain a victim and play the blame-game, or learn from those experiences and master our life so we can consciously create the destiny we want.

Playing the blame-game is not much fun at all because you're blaming forces outside of you that you feel are contributing to your inner turmoil.

I am very familiar with this because I used to live that life as you will read next.

As a child growing up in Fiji, I lived a privileged life in my first 10 years. When I broke my school sandals, my father would buy me another one to wear to school the next day. With five other siblings and both parents working, there was always plenty to go around. I didn't know anything about lack.

Then something happened. My life turned upside down.

My parents separated and my father left the family home when I was 11 years old. I was introduced to a totally different world, one I was very unfamiliar with — one of confusion, poverty, hardship, low self-esteem and faith. I felt lost in a big world. I felt abandoned. I felt fearful and emotionally, recoiled inwards.

There was a lot of blame in my life, a lot of hate, anger, shame, resentment and unforgiveness. I became uptight and hardened in spirit. At the time, I had no idea of the source of those negative feelings.

Through my life coach training and the assistance of the incredible people I chose to have around me to nourish and shape me into the person I am today, I became aware of the root cause of those negative feelings. They haunted me for so long and even showed up in my own marriage as "symptoms" when the "ideal" environment presented itself.

I had harboured those feelings for 33 long years. I then realised they became a part of my life at 11 years old and those feelings, if I didn't overcome them, would have a connection with every male relationship in my life. They were evident in my own relationship with my husband already.

Everything started to make sense. It was an "a-ha" moment for me. I had to go back to the root of those feelings which was my negative relationship with my father I had created myself. I discovered one of the major obstacles in my life.

To be able to help more people as a life coach, I knew I had to deal with and heal my own emotional wounds first, to free myself from anything that would hold me back. So I did.

I took action and became obedient to what was resonating in my heart that I needed to change. I knew I had to "break the pattern" and from the personal development books I read and my own training, I wrote my father a forgiveness letter to cut myself loose from the bondage I had created for myself for so long.

You can imagine how much lighter I felt. I healed myself from my own childhood pain setting myself free to move forward (instead of sweeping them under the mat hoping they would just go away) to help more people.

The void that was left behind after letting go the negative feelings, I filled with love and peace. This was a major breakthrough in my life. I had set myself free — finally, after 33 years.

What was even more incredible is the fact my father had passed away 16 years earlier at the time I wrote him that letter which I then destroyed. This is proof that our struggles can continue for generations until we become aware that we are the source of the problem (not the person we have animosity towards), make a conscious decision to break the pattern and change course.

By healing that area of my life, my relationship with my husband instantly flipped a 180 degree turn for the better, aligning my life, even more bringing it order. There was a shift in my mind-set. Something moved. I was blown away at my results. By severing myself from the root of my problems, there was a succession of major positive domino-like effects in my life.

How about in your life today?

What is stopping you from being the best version of you? If it's unforgiveness, you can go ahead and do what I explained above or if it's easier to call the person then do that. I had to forgive myself first because I held those negative feelings for so long, hurting myself.

What would you really love to do with your life? It would be helpful to write down your strengths.

Maybe dancing, singing, writing or organising events? Find the people who can help you refine your skills.

What sort of changes do you need to make to start living life big?

You can start by becoming conscious of the words you use in reference to yourself making sure they are positive and not cursing in any way. So instead of "That was a silly thing to do" when you make a mistake, change it to "I am enjoying the lessons life is presenting to me". Notice your energy change.

As Jim Rohn said, "You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction."

Nobody else can change your future for you, only you can.

So acknowledge your past and make the choice to move forward. There is nothing more rewarding than a life worth living by making a difference.

* Kelera Kotobalavu is a life coach in Sydney, Australia. Contact:

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