November 24th: Choices
You know, the older I get, the more complicated my perception of myself has gotten. I sometimes feel like I am all of the things I ever was, at every point in my life, all at once. This is not the case. Though my past experiences shaped me, and the memories continue to influence my decisions today, I am not the same person I used to be. I am this person, sitting here, now.
Look, we all have experienced trauma. We all carry painful memories, things that were our fault, and things that most definitely were not. We have all been hurt, and we have all hurt others.
At a certain point, you have some choices to make. Do I want to be so married to my pain that I let it become my identity, or do I want to take the reins and forge a new way forward for myself? For me, at least, the answer was easy. I couldn’t stand the pain anymore of being who I was. Sure, there was a lot of pain involved in changing, too, but at least it was different pain. Pain with a purpose. Growing pains are no joke.
The other day, I was laying in my bed reading, and something popped up…some memory that made me uncomfortable, I don’t know what it was. And I just thought to myself “I forgive you for everything, for all of it…every single thing you did, every minute. I forgive you.” It was the most random thing, but I felt so peaceful afterward. In that moment, I made the choice to do something different. Instead of dwelling, I addressed my feelings of shame with forgiveness. Now I remind myself of that choice each time one of those memories tries to ambush me.
I could use a lot more words here to explain to you why, though you are entitled to your pain, it might not be serving you. How it’s your job to address your issues no matter who caused them, even if that isn’t fair. That the energy you pour into beating yourself up or reliving the past could be used on forgiving yourself, letting go, and starting again. Instead, I’ll just say this:
Today, if you are reading this, I hope you know that the choices you make today matter a thousand times more than any you made in the past. So make good ones.