Then and Now

Are you doing it again? You know, that thing where you kick yourself for all the horrible mistakes you made in the past. The operative word here is PAST. You realize that you can’t do a thing about all that stuff that happened in the good old past, right? I hope so. But I had a conversation with a friend that has decided to take a trip back there and try to relive decisions she made and figure out all the whys of her decisions. Friends, that just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because the who you were in the past is not the who you are now.

“Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you.”
~ Unknown

Sometimes in life doing your best becomes your absolute worst. Why? Because you can only give what you have and sometimes you’re just out of stock. During these times your best is your worst. But don’t be so hard on yourself because you did do your best. As a person grows and matures the decisions they made in the past probably are not the decisions they would make today.

So, you out there, stop doing this to yourself. Look back at your past and the bad decisions and realize it was you then and not now. View the past as a learning experience — and that goes for the past mistake you just made a few minutes ago. It got your attention and you have learned your lesson. Come on, move on down that highway and forgive yourself.

Hey, this is you now, and you are giving it your very best.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes for getting through this life:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
~ Lao Tzu

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Do Your Best

Every day you have to make decisions. Some are no big deal and you hardly give them a thought, but some are in the problems to solve category and no matter how hard you try, you are never satisfied with your decision–even to the degree of regret! Just do your best. That’s right, doing your best at all times is the only thing you can do, and it’s what you strive to do whether you realize it or not. Sometimes your best will be your absolute WORST, but that’s okay because at the time, it was the best you could do.

Now, all of this probably sounds like a copout but it’s not. Just think about it. Today you might feel differently about a problem you had yesterday or a week ago. Because of that the decision you made in the past may not be the same as the one you would make today, but the one you made was right for you at the time. Go back a year or ten years and look at the decisions that you have made. Would you make the same decision today? Maybe not, and that’s because you are a different person today.

Don’t ever beat yourself up about the decisions you have made in the past. You are forever changing and learning throughout this fast journey of yours, and this is the way it’s supposed to be. Each and every decision you have made, and will make, will always be the one that is right at the very moment you are making it, even if you are at your very worst.

I have made hard decisions, and not very good decisions in my life and I know it’s easy to feel regret, but don’t. Just know that you have always done your best, and now it’s time to accept this fact and put all those negative thoughts to rest.

“Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”

~ Miguel Angel Ruiz

Embrace Your Past

A lot of things have happened in your past–some good and some not so good. And it stands to reason that those long ago decisions you regret making in your youth you want to forget or hide away, but don’t. Learn to embrace everything in your past because your past holds the key for the who you are today and the who you’ll become tomorrow.

Your journey is a rapid one, and you will make miscalculations along the way, but don’t sweat it because it’s going to happen anyway. Don’t berate yourself, just chalk it up to the lessons you had to learn. Remind yourself that all bad decisions are as much a part of your journey as all the good ones; embrace who you are.

The past is gone, so don’t dwell there. Realize that all that you have experienced is what has given you the richness and texture of your character, and how wonderful that character is. Without all the good and the bad, you just wouldn’t be you.

Look down from the mountain of life and see how far you have come, and realize that you made it despite the missteps. Now look up and see all that is waiting just for you. Celebrate your life’s journey–even the crappy times and trust in yourself. This is your journey friends, and it might be the only one you’ll ever get, so do it your way and be all used up when you get to the end.

Every line, every scar in or out, and every inch of body art is the who you are. Stand up, be proud, embrace it all!