You can’t go back in time
You can’t go back in time. You can’t change the past, no matter how much you might want to.
You can’t make different choices years ago or make a different decision at that fork in the road from way back.
You can’t undo a broken heart or stand up when you bit your tongue.
You can’t listen to that inner voice when you ignored or dismissed it.
You can’t be the person you were then, before all the experiences you’ve had since.
You can’t delete all those moments when you beat yourself up, being so hard on yourself for being less than ‘perfect’.
You can’t undo all those things you did or didn’t do out of fear, all the times you knew better but went ahead with it anyway.
But you know what you can do?
You can look back on all that time and all those experiences and learn from them.
You can start seeing how the different puzzle pieces of your life fit together.
You can see which were the healthy, positive choices and commit to making more of them in the future, starting right now.
You can see which decisions didn’t serve you, looking at what led you to choose them in the first place and what you can do to minimize them in the future.
You can see the value in all those experiences, even if at first they may have seemed like a waste.
You can resolve to let yourself open your heart wide, maybe wider than you ever thought possible, in love, caring and compassion, even if it scares you because you know the more you care, the more you are putting on the line. But you do it anyway because what scares you most of all is a life without love and connection.
You can learn how to speak up. You can resolve to stand up for what is right.
You can pay attention to that inner voice, learning the signs of what it is trying to tell you. Is it like a rock of despair in the pit of your stomach? Is it butterflies of excitement? Is it a headache or tightening chest? You can discuss your feelings and options with someone you deeply trust.
You can recognize that no, you can never again be exactly that person you were years ago, but you can look for the value in all that has happened and everything you’ve learned since then. You can recognize that sometimes those lessons will be easy to find, sometimes oh so difficult.
You can learn to love yourself, forgiving yourself for all the ways you may have sabotaged or hurt yourself or others.
You can choose to live and make more of your decisions from faith.
You can surround yourself with people who lift you up and help you see the beauty within. You can do the same for them, sharing a kind word to lighten the load of someone else.
You can allow yourself to let go of the walls and masks that stop you from truly connecting with those around you.
You can allow yourself to love and be loved, maybe even more deeply than you ever thought possible.
You can recognize there’s a purpose to it all, even if you don’t fully see how it all fits together right now.
And you don’t have to do this alone.