The person I am, the person I want to be, and the person I should have been. Of these, the ghosts of the past haunt me the most. Who I am today and who I want to be tomorrow are far more in my control than the decisions made yesterday. Those I cannot change no matter how hard I try.
Common wisdom tells us that we must learn from our mistakes. To do so, you must recognize those mistakes, invite them in, and discuss at some length where things went awry. Once the lesson is learned, the past is thanked for the visit and politely shown to the door. For me the problem is saying goodbye and, like conversations with a good friend, we loiter on the front porch for far too long.
Circumstances over the last couple of years have forced me to examine how I combat these ghosts. Not long ago, I found myself on my back with plenty of time to consider the past. In a way, I was going through a grieving process, mourning a past life that did not meet my expectations.
This process was not one in which I was beating myself up for my mistakes. Rather, I was considering where I had missed opportunities. I was methodically identifying those things I most disliked about myself. There were more than enough stumbling blocks to keep me busy. Realizing how many of those I could remove simply by changing my attitude was powerful. In a way, I suppose I was just looking for an excuse to change.
Some changes were physical such as losing 60 pounds. Part of the physical changes involved changing my attitude about certain key things. A few mental blocks still haunt me, but are not nearly the obstacles they were a short two years ago.
As I return to blogging after a long hiatus, the ghosts of the past still haunt. I am sure to fail again. Today, however, I know there is far more to gain by risking the obstacles I have avoided for far too long.