There are times when we can really see the consequences of the decisions we made when we were younger. For example…the career we have, the spouse beside us, and where we live. Often times those decisions were good. We would still choose the same career, the same spouse, and maybe even the same home. But, what do we do with the ones we regret and can’t seem to shake? I can imagine there are a few choices made that we will regret forever. I know I have them. Most of the time I don’t remember them, but then something happens to remind me. Then it bothers me again.
What to do? How do we deal with these consequences? Some of them are toxic. And continue to be so!! It’s all part of the growing up process, isn’t it? We learn through toxic mistakes to avoid them in the future…at least ideally that is what should happen. Some of us repeat them over and over again. Wallowing and feeling sorry for ourselves.
What has worked for me, and maybe this is part of the aging process…is the daily reminder that I can choose my reactions. I might have no way of removing some of the issues in my life, they are now here to stay. I have to choose what I do with my own emotions. Do I choose to be bitter? Do I dwell of something I really can’t do anything about? I can choose to live a life that forgives and tries to forget. I need to forgive myself for making these choices, after all we made these choices with the information we had at the time. I need to forgive the people that made some of the choices for me.
Many times I have thought that, “only if I had done ______ differently!” Then I ask myself, do I really regret the person I have become? These same choices made in my life have also shaped me to be who I am. The good, the bad and the ugly! It’s all me. I can now go forward with what I know and what I have learned, and live a life that is rewarding and edifying to God. He can use us, mistakes and all. We just need to be willing to live a life that involves making real choices with real consequences…