“How many times can I push it aside?
Is it time I befriended all the ghosts of all the things that haunt me most?
So they leave me alone, move on with my life”
We often dodge and ignore things from our pasts without ever truly dealing with them. It is easy to choose the comfortable way of pushing distressing events aside and never reckoning with them—but it is important to wrestle with these things so we can move forward.
“I’d rather forget and not slow down
Than gather regret for the things I can’t change now.”
I have spent a lot of time in my life worrying about things in my past. At some point, I realized I was wasting my present being wrecked with guilt and regret. I had to let those things go. These lyrics help remind me to focus on what is ahead and not to let my past define my future. “Forget” may be too strong of a term, as I think it is important to be aware of mistakes we have made in order to keep from repeating them. But I’d rather “learn” without slowing down.
“Cause I could spend my life just trying to sift through
What I could’ve done better, but what good do what-ifs do?”
Self-criticism is often a never-ending cycle. Whatever it is I might be judging myself for, I eventually come back to being critical of myself for being critical of myself. I sometimes catch myself thinking about the way I said something or the way I did something for far longer than the time of the actual event. It would be pretty easy to spend the rest of my life thinking of how I could have done things better or even just differently.
There are strategic reasons for looking over how we have done things in order to improve on them in the future, but a lot of the “life” things that tend to get replayed in my head are just “what-ifs” that need not be revisited.
“If I become what I can’t accept, resurrect the saint from within the wretch.”
I think it is crucial to be aware that we are all both “saints” and “wretches,” so to speak. I can look back at my past and become quite depressed at both things I have done and things that have been done to me. However, I can also look back and see I have done things well, I have connected with people, and people have greatly influenced my life for the better.
It matters to me to know that I contain both good and bad, because we all do, and the good can ultimately win out in my life. When working with others, it helps me to keep in mind the duality of mankind; we are all dark and light. For those who currently see mostly dark, please know that light is coming.
—Jonathan, TWLOHA Spring 2014 Intern