You are entitled to reinvent yourself as many times as you want. You learn, heal, and grow every day and are a different person today than you were yesterday. Embrace the fact that your past is what brought you here on your journey. Nothing you have or have failed to do in the past can stop you from creating a hugely successful future, starting right now.
Your past does not define your future, only what you do today. Whatever setbacks you have had, pain you have inflicted, roadblocks you encountered, you do not have to let them define your present or your future. If you are just starting this change journey, do not start with the big and scary stuff, but instead start with the little things. Choose one thing that set you back yesterday and make a concerted effort to change that today. You drank too much or ate too much greasy food, so today you will drink lots of water and eat healthy. Maybe you were a bit judgmental about someone yesterday, so today you will keep an open mind and focus on the good things. Little steps like this help us realize that we don’t have to let our past define our future.
Your mistakes do not define you but instead make you a better person if you reflect and learn from them. Just because you were one way in your 20s does not mean you have to continue being that way. You are in control of what you do today and continue to do into the future. You can make amends with people you may have hurt, you can change the dynamic of relationships, you can start changing how you communicate, you can stop taking loved ones for granted, and so much more.
Some people hang onto their past experiences as part of their identity, but these do not need to define you. Whether it was a scary illness, a near death experience, abuse, divorce, or anything else. These experiences influence your journey, growth, and wisdom but it does not need to define you. In the same breath some allow their identity to be defined by their family and their mistakes. Again, just because they were/are a certain way does not mean you need to be.
Free will is important to mention here because we all have it. You get to decide how to treat other people, what career to pursue, whether to change careers, what relationships you want, what to eat and drink, what activities to participate in or not, and you get to choose to make a better future for yourself despite your past.
Forgiveness enters this stage now in relation to yourself and others. You are worthy of forgiveness of anything past as are others. It is not easy to forgive yourself as we are usually our own worst critic, but it is worth it. Asking for help from a professional can make the process easier and hold you accountable for progress. Holding onto guilt, shame, regret, anger, and frustration can lead to undesirable physical expressions such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. This holds true for the lack of forgiveness of others as well. Someone who has made mistakes that have directly impacted you and those that did not directly impact you. Forgiving others is not necessarily for the benefit of that person but more for yourself.
We do not like being judged and therefore should not judge others. The sayings around treating others as you would like to be treated is phrased in many ways by a variety of religions, creeds, lifestyles, and more. We are all spirits here to have a human experience and our journeys are unique for the purpose of our individual experiences. Raise people up and encourage their growth and liberation from the burdens of their past. Lastly, look yourself in the mirror and make sure you like what you see. Forgive yourself and make a vow to forgive others. Your spirit is worth it.