Since I got back from Buenos Aires, life has been wild... Different people have placed some huge mirrors in front of me for me to address some of the issues that I am facing in my life. There are always questions surrounding us... is this right or is this wrong? Is this the right direction to go? Is this what I am meant to be doing? Is this person really meaning what I am reading? Is this my issue or is this the other person's issue? While evaluating the options in my life, I couldn't help but also take a trip to the past and see where I come from, what brought me to this point in time, what actions are a direct consequence of the actions I took in the past. It is hard to look at our lives with objective eyes and take full ownership of what is going on but like Sun Tzu said in "The Art of War"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself, but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." When I look at this phrase, even though I am not into war, I can see the metaphor that plays in my life. Most of the time I am my worst enemy and I need to know my demons in order to be able to win the battles I face daily. Knowing yourself does not involve knowing only your strengths but it also has to do with knowing your weaknesses who become your enemies if you let them. The other day I was talking to a very good friend of mine and I was telling him that I was seeing myself as a tree with big roots that helped me stand strong and be able to branch out. Many times people take the things that happened in the past as being a victim or using them to manipulate others or feel sorry for themselves. In my case, I see the past as the reason why I am like I am today. I know I don't regret anything that has happened in my life because it brought me to this point in time. The painful memories from the past are just part of those roots that are holding me together, that allow me to continue growing, to continue evolving, to take the past and transform it for a better future. Knowing the past is part of knowing yourself. Knowing the pain you have suffered helps you confront your demons and call them out when they pop their heads in your life time after time and the more you name them, the more you let them go and they will slowly disappear. I am grateful for all those bad moments I had in my past because they made me strong, they made powerful, they made me who I am. I tend those roots with care because I know they are the ones allowing me to stand tall and fearless.