According to Rabbi Shmuley, it's important to learn from the past without being limited by it. Old wounds can either scar us for life, he says, or they can inspire us to live in the hope of a better, brighter future. He talks about letting go of the past and learning to embrace a positive outlook on life.
Following a difficult divorce, many people are often closed off emotionally and turned off to relationships, Rabbi Shmuley says. But if you can choose hope over fate, he says, then you can choose to be happy. "No one says you shouldn't learn from those relationships," Rabbi Shmuley says. "But it shouldn't hold you back from finding love again, and you shouldn't be negative about it."
Similarly, Rabbi Shmuley says many children of divorce have jaded views of marriage. They see their parents fight and assume the same will happen to them—even though their own lives can take completely different courses, he says. "It's someone else's story affecting their future," Rabbi Shmuley says. "When you're a child of divorce, you can either dump on marriage and not believe in it, or you can realize that you can do it differently."
Regardless of your past experiences, Rabbi Shmuley says it's important to get past that old baggage, which can limit you from living life to the fullest. "Instead, you have to change it to a story of promise," he says. "When you define yourself as a victim, you limit yourself greatly."
"We are meant to learn from our past without being limited by it. Although the past has many lessons to offer, it can also make us overly cautious, cynical and paranoid. While we should extract lessons and inspiration from the past, we dare never live in it. Rather, we should embrace a promising present and a hope-filled future."
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014