I’m not one to often contemplate the past, whether good or bad. No one knows how much time we each have left, so I do my best to look ahead. This is not to say I don’t reminisce about good times, momentous occasions and celebrations of victory, life and even death. Maybe it’s because woven into the fabric of my memories there are all too many regrets. For as the fondest of remembrances, these too, are moments I’ll never forget.
It’s not just the unwarranted, hurtful words spoken in arrogance or anger that left deep scars, also the silence in situations where even just a smile seeking or giving forgiveness would have meant so much. And after the loss of a loved one, these missed opportunities become a gut wrenching emptiness that gnaws at my soul, and never go away. More moments I’ll never forget.
Because it took years to transform my youthful (and joyful) heart, I can’t pinpoint when or how I got so jaded and became a renegade. Society says we’re supposed to “find” ourselves, some profess at all costs. I don’t know that I know what this even means, or that I’ve found anything that brings me to some level of “zen understanding”, but I do know there were too many years where life got complicated because I stoked that fire. Time when I pushed away people who cared because it meant humbling myself and admit I was wrong. Or wrapped myself in isolation when I should have been there to lift up or cheer on so many. These are times that haunt me, etchings on my mind I’ll never forget.
It’s not easy reminding myself to look forward, to put my time and effort into being a better me. Or coming to terms with the fact I’ll go to my grave with the mistakes and missed opportunities. But I do know that Lord willing, I’ll have many opportunities to be part of situations, hopefully more good than bad, where I can give back to those in need, from which I can learn and grow, and most certainly, never forget.