I heard a song over the weekend entitled, “Dear Younger Me.” It was basically advice to one’s younger self to avoid the heartache of bad choices. If you were to write a letter like that, what would you include?
As I started thinking about this, I quickly came up with four pieces of advice to my younger self:
- Take the time to put on sunscreen. Hopefully that will help you avoid skin cancer later on.
- Don’t waste your time dating (well, you know who). He’s a jerk and you already know it.
- When you start thinking about trading in your Mazda Protege (which is completely paid off) in order to lease a brand new car just because you need to replace the timing belt, don’t do it. It’s a really bad financial decision.
- Don’t move to Syracuse; you won’t stay there long anyway.
As I thought about it longer, though, I realized that each of the events that I was trying to avoid actually helped me grow into a stronger person. Yes, they were bad decisions and they resulted in pain; but, I’m not sure I would be the person I am today without them. It’s a strange thing to think about because we naturally want to avoid pain and we think that life would be better without it. Often, though, that is the only way that God can get our attention and teach us what we are too stubborn to learn otherwise.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Other than the obvious fact that you can’t send a letter back in time, I don’t think I would anyway. Although my life is far from perfect, I am content with the person I am today and the life that I have. I have learned some hard lessons, but would I be as strong as I am today without them? And, if those mistakes didn’t happen, would it have taken something more severe for me to learn the lesson later on?
Many people spend their lives regretting bad decisions. They mentally never get over the past so they aren’t able to completely live in the now. If that’s you, let me suggest that you take the time necessary to examine your past mistakes, learn from them and then choose to move on. It's time to stop living in the past and wishing you could change what happened. Click To Tweet You can’t. If necessary, ask forgiveness from God, others or yourself and then choose to stop thinking about it. Tear your letter to your younger self up and start living for the future! Let’s make the most of TODAY!