Day 60: Hindsight

Hindsight is a dangerous game to play. After we have gone through something, no matter the consequence of the situation, it can be so easy to look back with a new perspective and judge ourselves for acting in the way we did.

Everyone goes through situations on a day to day basis, some with little to no meaning while others can be quite literally life altering. As we are going through these situations, we are making decisions based on our current knowledge and we do our best. Because of the choices we make we end up in a different place than where we were.

After the process of going through something we often look back, whether that we directly after what has happened or years later. Usually we look back, for better or for worse. Because we have been through the situation, our knowledge of what decisions we should make has shifted. We can now look back on our choices and think “hmm maybe that wasn’t the best choice after all.”

What a dangerous game to play. Nothing we think now has any effect over the choices we made in the past, however recently or long ago they were made. Yet we still engage in hindsight and often judge ourselves for the decisions we made. Looking back we question what would have happened if we choice another path to walk down or had avoided certain things all together. These questions can be over enormous life decisions or even little choices we made that have now arisen as a bit of a nuisance.

As I am unpacking boxes left over after moving four years ago (yes I still haven’t opened all of them), I am coming across little things that didn’t seem like a big problem back then but are turning into quite an annoying problem now. I began judging my much younger self for how I handled things and had to forcefully stop myself.

I might know better now, but I didn’t then.

We have to give ourselves grace when we look back on our past. There are some things you have to learn through experience and when you look back in hindsight, you must realize that knowledge did not come until later. We must all make choices that will determine our next step in life and those steps will lead to more and more opportunities to learn new things. Give yourself some grace, both for the you of the past and the you now.

There are choices we have made that we regret, but know that no amount of contemplation will ever change that choice. The past is in the past, maybe it’s time to let go of the judgement you’ve held over it for so long. Give your past self a benefit of the doubt, they were doing the best they could.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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