Celebrating past, present and future

Appreciate that we are the sum of our experiences, but keep looking ahead

By Dr. Matthew Lapp, Columnist, The Times

CTColLogoMattLappOur son celebrates his first birthday this week and his mom and I decided to put together a small time capsule to commemorate some of the notable events that have occurred in his first year.  It’s been a great year, and it brings us a tremendous amount of joy to watch him develop and grow.  It’s especially fun to watch as he learns new skills and language, and develops his own personality.

As we’ve been discussing what to put in his time capsule, it made me think about how each of us has our own metaphorical “time capsule” full of memories, experiences and probably a few bouts of adversity.  These events and experiences have shaped each of our lives and have led us to where we are today. 

If you think back over your life so far, what stands out?  Many people would probably list  a child’s birth, a marriage, maybe a new job or a home purchase.  But, what about an unwelcome change?  Has there ever been a life challenge or circumstance that you’ve overcome that changed the course of your life for the better?  It’s hard to be in the middle of adversity and look at it like a positive light.  However, by looking back over our lives we’re often in a better position to understand and appreciate how our challenges have made us stronger, more resilient, and in many cases, happier.

If you look at almost any area of life, a major change can drastically improve or diminish our quality of life.  For example, the loss of a job could create a financial and career challenge, maybe even a challenge to our relationships.  However, what if that change creates a space for a completely different career path that ultimately makes you happier and more fulfilled?  I’ve had the opportunity to work with several people in my office who have overcome some serious health challenges and who are happier, healthier, and more in tune with their bodies as a result.

Personally, I know that a major event in my senior year of college drastically changed the course of my life.  I was set to complete my athletic eligibility, graduate, and begin chiropractic school in the summer when a major injury forced me to sit out.  It didn’t affect my schooling, but I decided to stay another year to compete and in the course of that year my life path changed.  There were ups and downs along the way, but looking back I know that had that injury not occurred, I would not be were or who I am today.

All of the “parts” of our life come together to form one whole person.  That means that our experiences in each area of life, affect all of the other areas of our life and have the ability to lift us up or bring us down.  That’s the real essence of wellness.  Tapping in to the power to harness each area (including the challenging parts) for the betterment of the whole is how we continue to grow as individuals.

Ultimately, life is like driving a car.  It’s good to look back in the rear view mirror to see how far you’ve come sometimes, but it’s a terrible way to move forward.  Many of us forget to celebrate how far we’ve come on our own personal journey and instead try to restore or get back to a previous way of life by always “looking in the rear view mirror.”  The real key to living a happy life is to always be looking forward in a way that allows us to acknowledge and celebrate our past and present and continue to grow and evolve in the future.

Drs. Allison and Matthew Lapp are the owners of Salus Chiropractic Studio in Thorndale. For more tips on living a health, happy life, visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SalusChiropracticStudio

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