Life is really rather unforgiving, isn’t it?
I can only live forward and there are no do-overs.
No amount of regret can roll back the clock and give me another chance to do it right, do it better or just do it at all.
I can’t undo or redo my past.
If I’ve made blunders, hurt hearts, missed opportunities or just plain screwed up, I have to live with that. And other people might have to live with the damage I’ve inflicted.
I need to own that.
But it is not helpful to let regret stop me working NOW to repair, restore and rebuild relationships.
Sometimes my best efforts may be rebuffed.
If I’ve hurt someone’s heart they have every single right to tell me, “No. I won’t let you back in.” I don’t get to establish a timeline for their healing. But if I don’t try to make amends I can be sure the rift won’t be mended.
If someone has hurt me I can choose to look beyond that pain, forgive the offense and commit to begin now, leaving the past in the past, and start fresh.
If so much time has passed that it feels awkward-so what? Embarrassment is a small price to pay for restoration.
So write a letter.
Send a card.
Make a phone call.
There’s a proverb that’s been spoken by my family for years. It goes like this. A young man asks an old farmer, “When’s the best time to plant a tree?”
The old man answers, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. But the next best time is now.”
I can’t go back and sow seed or plant trees when I wish I had.
But I can start now and plant for the future.
Who knows what kind of fruit it might bear?