Have you been blaming yourself for things you said or did when you were in a darker place? Have you been feeling shame about the past? Then let me offer you this: it’s behind you, and you don’t have to carry it forward with you. The best use of experience is to extract the lesson from it, and apply your new-found wisdom the next time around.
There’s a popular saying: “If you’d known better, you would have done better. Now you know better, so you’ll do better.” It’s a pretty cliché, but I don’t entirely buy into it. Sometimes I “knew better” on an intellectual level, but I made the wrong choice anyway. One of the reasons we cringe at these memories is because we *did* know better, and it’s hard to face the reasons why we chose a different road at the time.
You know what? On a certain level, none of this matters. You did it. You can’t change it. No amount of remorse or self-reflection is ever going to change that fact. It’s now part of the tapestry of your life, built into the weave – and there are going to be snags and knots in that tapestry. You can’t go back and make it perfect. So what *can* you do?
Remind yourself that life is lived forward, not backward. Be thankful for the wisdom you’ve gained along the way, because it will help you to make better choices the next time around. Keep your heart soft, and show compassion for others, and for the self you used to be, and the self you are becoming. Remember that there will be tough days ahead, and you will make mistakes, but you will forgive yourself.
Forgive yourself, and turn your face to the sun.