We have all said it at one time or another: “If only I had known then what I know now, things would be different.” But would they really? Probably not. You did exactly what you did at that time, because you were not ready to do anything differently. What you did then is what you did. How you were then is how you were.
It is helpful to look back upon those times only as points of reference. Look to all your experiences – good, bad or indifferent – as the growth opportunities that brought you to the here and now. Do not look back as though you did something wrong, now judging yourself harshly. Look back as a witness, seeing your experiences as adventures, no matter how awful or ridiculous they may appear now. Allow yourself to see the humor, and be gentle with yourself. It is time to get over it, whatever the “it” was.
Looking back to the people in your past, you can bet the relationships you had, even the ones that you thought would last a lifetime but didn’t, were the perfect relationships for you at that time. They showed you just what you were doing and who you were being at that time. Sometimes those short-lived relationships were your best growth spurts. They challenged your spirit and your ego.
Give yourself a break. Look back and see how amazing you are. How strong you are. How resilient your body, your soul and even your ego are. See how amazing it is that you got through those events and relationships and still continued to move forward. Even though there were times you thought for sure you would “die” if the relationship didn’t turn out the way you expected and wanted it to, you are still here moving forward. This is called evolution, your evolution.
Now you can look back and see there was nothing to change at that time. You cannot change the past. But you can certainly change the future. You accomplish this by not dragging the past, with its impertinent relationships and events, into your future. Whether your future is five minutes, five hours, five days, five weeks, five years or 5,000 years from now, create your future from what you know now.
You learned from your past experiences and relationships. Now apply what you learned by doing what is best for you.