Thursday, August 6, 2015

Leaving the past behind - for everyone

Every day I learn new things. I'm not just talking about facts or skills. I'm referring to the new things we learn about ourselves and our character, our priorities and our proclivities. If we are striving to "be better" people, chances are we are continually improving our dispositions, dropping undesirable ways of thinking and behaving, and we are treating others and ourselves with deeper love.

I am daily grateful for what I'm learning about the beauty and goodness of my fellow man and myself, as well as for the ways I'm growing and my character improving. As such, I often don't feel like the person I was in the past — even if that past was just the day before!

A popular quote says, "Don't judge me by my past. I don't live there anymore." Boy, can I relate! In thinking about this idea, a pair of unsettling questions came to mind. "Am I judging others by their pasts? Am I truly viewing them for the people they are today, as opposed to yesterday?" The answers were very humbling when I realized there are individuals whom I expect to act in certain untoward ways, simply because that is the way they behaved yesterday.

But, if I don't want others to do that to me, then why would I do that to them?!

This is something I'm working on step by step and will continue to do so. I've noticed when I expect people to act 'better' than the day before and look for evidence of this improved behavior, I often find it. This is not setting myself up with expectations that could end in disappointment. Rather, it's seeing the good already within each person, and seeing it manifested in their actions.

We all deserve a fresh start with each dawn. That's the beauty of a new day. So let's move out of the past, together, one day at a time.

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