A few weeks ago, I attended a training session for community volunteers on the Fort Berthold Reservation. There was a lot of good advice administered that I should take to heart more, including this:
"Advice # 1: The past is in the past. That's why they call it that."
You cannot go back and have a happy childhood. Maybe someone hurt you, didn't sufficiently appreciate you, bullied you. Maybe YOU were the hurtful, unappreciative, bullying person. You had a boss that was a jerk, a teacher that treated you unfairly. You got drunk and did something stupid - for seven years straight!
Whatever it is, there are three possibilities.
- You realized you did wrong and were man enough or woman enough to apologize and try to make it right, if possible. You bought a new birthday cake to replace the one you threw up on, told the kid from band camp that you really don't think he looks like a salamander.
- The person who did you wrong tried honestly to make it right.
- You got the hell out and never saw the people in that hick town again, the person died before you could make it up to them or for any other reason nobody made it up to anyone.
Here's the important thing, whichever of those three things happen -and in most cases, it's the third one - MOVE ON.
When I had three small children, my husband died. Having a spouse die, especially when you have a young family, is just about the worst scenario that can be imagined.
A few months after Ron died, I met a woman at a conference and some how we got to talking about being widowed, about not wanting to change houses or jobs right away, the difficulty of adjusting. I asked her how long ago her husband had died and she said,
"Thirty years ago."
Whether twenty years ago you were widowed, abused, the prom queen or in a major motion picture, the past is in the past, you can't live there, no matter how grand or awful it was.
Take the lessons learned and you'll go into the future with more bravery and wisdom than you had in your past.