It’s on me to move past old resentments.
It’s not on the people who were in my life to make amends.
It’s not on past situations to heal themselves.
If I want to move past feelings of shame, anger, and resentment— feelings that kick my butt today, that distract me from my current plans and needs and resources— I need to take responsibility for it.
Understand: the fact that it is my responsibility doesn’t mean it’s easy.
It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give myself time and space to be as angry as I need to be.
As sad as I need to be.
Even as depressed as I need to be— over those past situations in particular.
I experienced losses.
I experienced betrayals.
I experienced unfair treatment by people I thought were my friends and colleagues.
And, don’t get me wrong— I contributed to the deterioration of some of those relationships, too.
It usually takes two to tango, and in this case, it certainly did. I own my part of those professional relationships that went wrong— even those parts that are embarrassing and frustrating to me. Even those parts that make me look less than kind and less than professional.
There are parts of me that feel I am owed apologies.
The thing is: those apologies are almost certainly not forthcoming.
I can wait forever— they’re not going to come.
I can hold up my entire life and career waiting for those apologies.
i can hold up my entire life and career fixating on the past. Resenting people. Mourning situations and opportunities.
I could very easily do that.
But that is not consistent with my mission statement.
That is not consistent with my values.
And it’s sure as hell not consistent with my goals.
If I’m going to move on, it’s on me to manage my focus.
It’s on me to manage my energy.
It’s on me to be realistic and proactive about what I need to do to create the life I’m committed to creating— which has nothing to do with people who may or may not owe me an apology from past situations that I can do nothing about now.
There is no rewind button on life.
I wish there was. There isn’t.
No amount of anger, no amount of regret, no amount of resentment, no amount of fixation will allow me to go back and un-make certain decisions.
To go back and say something different. To go back and make other choices.
All I can do is what I can do— move forward.
Remind myself— consistently and relentlessly— about the life I am committed to living today.
About the goals and values that demand my attention today.
About the people who depend on me today.
Today— that’s what I can affect.
Not yesterday. Not five or ten years ago.
We can never have a better past.
The future, one day, one decision at a time…that’s what we have.
That’s what I have.
That’s what we need to embrace.