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Each one of us must come to terms with our past, and the only way to do it is through reflecting, feeling, contemplating.

We all have a past, as we should. It can be a place of comfort or a source of pain, or often is both. Whatever it is, we have no option other than to keep moving forward, and it is wise to look back and see what landed us exactly where we are right now.

The choices we have made yesterday set in motion successes and failures of today. It’s the small things: a late night that results in lack of sleep and cripples the ambitions of the next day; extra $50 spent on something unnecessary, and thus stealthily and insidiously building up debt; the fifteen minutes you could have spent straightening up the house but didn’t feel like it, and by the weekend the chores swell up to take most of the day… There are the bigger things too, of course: relationships that ought to have been history long ago; our health (salad, anyone? No thanks, please pass the steak sauce!); too many to list…

And what if–what if–we made a commitment to making better choices? Right now. Today. What if we were to recognize the impact our choices have on those around us, those closest to us? When you don’t do the dishes, does your wife have to? When laundry piles up, does mom step in? When you rack up debt, does Senior write a check? Imagine how much lighter everyone’s load would feel if we–you, me, that guy–were to start making better choices? Today, so that tomorrow would feel a little easier, a little smoother, a little less of a shock to the system? What if?..

The only prerequisite is coming to terms with one’s past. Made poor choices? Who haven’t! Bad relationships? Say goodbye and move on! Spent too much, drank too much, ate too much? It didn’t bring happiness, did it…

So acknowledge it. Own it. Be responsible for it. Yup, made mistakes. Made poor choices. But that’s in the past. In the present, you, I, and that guy can finally make better choices. By reflecting on the actions that have brought us to the present, by probing within, by sitting with our feelings, we can identify our past pitfalls. Our shortcomings may not change, but being aware of them creates change.

May tomorrow be a better day!..