The stupid things we’ve done in the past always seem to creep up at the most unexpected times.
We’ll suddenly lose sleep at night over something dumb we said fifteen years ago. On a long drive, we’ll feel horrible about something from our childhood. We then go over every mistake we’ve made from childhood until now and cringe at the thought of how we could be so dumb.
We do our best to exercise those thoughts out of us, but they keep coming back. There are even a few popular bloggers and writers who bleed their history with every post and they keep coming back to the painful moments. We just can’t stop hemorrhaging all the mistakes we’ve made.
While we do hear some who claim they wouldn’t change a thing about their past because it defines who they are today… that may just be a self defense mechanism. If that same person is seeking to make changes in their life, then they are changing and actively making choices to not make the same mistakes.
Do we need mistakes to give us that learning experience?
It doesn’t matter because we’re going to make them anyway. But the brokenness comes with that one question we like to utter, which causes a cascade of thoughts that lead us to question our past even more:
It can lead into a lifetime of regret if that question gets asked too often.
The recognition of past mistakes is a positive indicator. It tells us what we did was wrong and what we need to do to make better choices for the future. Yes, our past did bring us to the person we are today, but our past is not a stone that holds us down. It is a teacher that’s trying to help us become better people.
We cannot change what has been done (to my knowledge), but we can acknowledge what’s happening right now. The big push for mindfulness in schools, the workplace and at home, is touching upon a nerve that we’re beginning to recognize: we live in the moment.
We learn from history and we plan for the future, but we live right now.