Most of us can think of something we have done (or not done) in our pasts of which we are not terribly proud. Having first admitted that to ourselves, we have probably then attempted to bury it in our bag of “experience” and not think of it again. However, if we have the courage to unpack a little and think about the experience, I believe that good can come from it.
So you did something you shouldn’t have? Do you know better now? So you hung out with somebody undesirable? What did you learn from that? Are you more knowledgeable about, say, drugs or alcohol now? Did a certain person change something for the better in you? Have you turned in a completely different direction? Do you think you will be forever changed by what happened? Have you been able to pass along that which you learned to somebody else?
Over the years, I have found that, for me, some incidents reinforced values I learned as a child and they have become greater treasures. Other events – challenging though they may have been at the time – made me stronger. Illnesses and deaths taught me to not be afraid of them, to be able to provide comfort at times, and to see goodness come out of sometimes very unfortunate circumstances.
I say I am a better person today because of all that has happened to me, good and bad. When I was empty, something or someone filled me. When someone else’s burdens became too difficult for them to bear alone, I was able to offer at least a small modicum of comfort or support. When I thought I knew everything (and really knew nothing) I learned things about life that I would never have recognized had I taken a more cautious route.
Don’t hide it. Unbury your experience and consider what it has done for you!