One late night while my husband was away, I found myself watching the Oprah show. Her guest was Uma Thurman (side note: I LOVED Kill Bill 1) who was quite open and candid about the goings-on in her personal life. Oprah probed, but not too deeply, and Uma answered only what she felt comfortable with. In the course of their on-the-couch conversation, as the subject turned to Uma's "coulda shoulda woulda's" regarding her marriage, Oprah uttered a true gem of a quote that she attributes to another guest from a previous episode: FORGIVENESS IS GIVING UP THE HOPE THAT THE PAST COULD'VE BEEN ANY DIFFERENT. Her follow-up: if you knew better, you could've done better, but you didn't.
I guess there's no point in holding on to the "coulda shoulda woulda's" in life.
Forgiveness of others is difficult enough, but forgiving oneself can be even tougher. In relationships (personal or professional)... in situations... heck, even driving in rush hour traffic... letting go of the past can be a trying task. "Oh, I knew I should've taken that right turn at Albaquerque."
I don't really know what it is that makes the task so strangely tough. Perhaps once something happens in your life that turns it upside down, the mind and the heart become riddled with those said questions, with additional "what if's". "What if I had done something different... what if I had taken another path... what if I had waited... what if I hadn't... what if... what if... what if..." We can't live our lives that way though; it would invalidate whatever resulted from the first decisions we made.
Everything that happens in life happens for a reason. Sometimes the reasons are very obvious... and at other times, the reasons don't appear until much, much later. Each road block, each clear path, each little signboard that pops up is there for us, when it's supposed to be. We just have to figure out what to do when they appear, and pray for the best.