Today is the tenth day in a new role. As much as each memory from the past is a gift, I realize each also fits perfectly with the other to form a two edged sword. This sword is not from the Knights of the Round Table. It is a sword circling and embracing the essence of who and what I am. It is never still. It encourages and taunts. It gives me confidence Experience and memories also taunts me, reminding me of every failure, each slip of the tongue, and all the things I could have done differently or better.
I know that the strengths that bring success were born in the way Life taught me through my experiences. Each gift of insight changed me because of my willingness to hear, reflect, adapt, and change. Failures were tough moments of learning. While I know that I am better because of them, the pain that comes with remembering and reflecting on the cost others paid can be intense and overwhelming. The new twist is having the memory and everything that plays out with it come in the context of a choice in the now.
I do not want to repeat the past. I know I know more than what I did then, but today’s script is being written with a fresh hand. Will failures repeat? Will individuals that could be my allies be adversaries? In my confidence of success, there is a twinge of uncertainty. “I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off, won’t smugly strut off when I stumble.” (Psalm 38.16)
In a dawn replays the past with a sense of hope for the future, I realize that there is a big difference between yesterday and today. Yesterday I was unaware of the lessons that were ahead of me. Today I have them with me. As painful and heart wrenching as some of them are, they are also hope’s building blocks that create the chance that today will be better. You and I can use each memory to bring compassion and community to life.