Making Peace with the Past
There are several steps to making peace with the past. First, whether completely innocent or mostly guilty take personal responsibility for your situation and own the damn thing. We are all required to take a sober assessment of our circumstances, recognize and experience genuine remorse for our misdeeds, make restitution to those we have harmed and atone for our transgressions.
Second, embrace gratitude and acceptance. It is fit and proper to recognize our shortcomings. It is not appropriate however to let them defeat us. As long as we are on this side of the ground, there is hope, regardless the pain of living.
Third, put matters in perspective. Take life neither too personally nor too seriously. Few things are about us even if they happen to us. We simply cannot see the larger picture. So try not to sweat the small stuff. And remember, it’s all small stuff.
Fourth, forgive everyone and everything associated with the matter. Absolve God, the police, judge, jury, your family and/or anyone else who wronged you. Pardon the weather, the time of day, the dope you smoked, the alcohol you consumed or the compromises you were compelled to make, regardless how painful the situation or difficult the act of forgiveness.
Above all, forgive yourself. We all fall short of our better selves.
So when greeted by scorn and rejection, gently remind your tormentor of Jesus’s admonition, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”
We are not defined by what happened to us in the past. Nor are we measured by what someone does to us in the present. We are instead defined by who we chose to be. We are measured by what we do today. And we all have a history.