I’m one of those introverted people who replay scenes from my life over and over again. Anyone else?
Currently, here in sweatpants, with a vanilla tea nearby and the window letting that cool fall air sneak in, one small gust at a time. And no matter how much I try to enjoy this moment, my mind is replaying parts of my life that happened years ago.
And I analyze every little second of each scene that plays out in my head– wondering what I could have done, what I should have done, and what I didn’t. It really is an awful little cycle that never seems to fix itself. And then I stumbled upon these words.
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.
This is life. We make mistakes. We learn from them. We move on… ? At 26 I feel like I’m literal lightyears ahead of where I was at 18, at 21, at even 25. This is the part of my life called: growing. And with that, comes wisdom, and with wisdom, comes a better ability to know between right and wrong. But I can’t sit here and punish my 26 year old self for not having the same knowledge when I was my 18 year old self. How was I supposed to know that I was doing wrong before I learned it was wrong?
Most days, I’d like to have the ability to go back in time and really kick my 21 year old self in the head, and if time travel is somehow miraculously invented in my lifetime, I probably will do that. But in the meantime- who am I to beat myself up about things that happened in my past?
Mark Nepo, spiritual writer, poet & philosopher, battled with forgiving and moving on from the past that he suffered through with his father. Even after his death, Mark held on to the wounds from his relationship with his father, never letting them go. And then he realized something.
He said, “I was keeping my old wounds fresh and open, as evidence for a trial that would never come.”
All those wounds really wanted was to be allowed to heal – and Mark had to give them permission. You can only make the best choice possible, based on what you know RIGHT NOW. Sure, as you go forward in life, you’ll learn more. And thats great – use that for all the decisions to come. But decide right now to forgive yourself in advance for what you didn’t know, and couldn’t know, because life just hasn’t taught it to you yet. Rest in knowing you’ve made the best decision, for yourself, at that moment.
Change the channel on your brain that replays all of those scenes of your life where you got it wrong. Focus on getting it right in the sequels to follow. And allow your wounds to heal.