You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.

~ Johnny Cash

“If only…” is not a good path to choose. If only we had taken an opportunity given to us. If only we had studied more in school / not dated that idiot / kept our foot in our mouth.

News flash–it’s in the past. Stopping regretting what you’ve done and move on. Can you change the past? No, but you can learn from it.

When we are focused on our mistakes, we can’t move forward.


It’s like forgiveness. You can not heal yourself fully and move to a brighter future if you harbor ill will towards anyone. Several people have wounded me very deeply and have left emotional scars. Are they healed? I don’t know for sure. Because things that people say can wound more deeply than “sticks and stones” sometimes. But I can honestly say that I have let go of the anger and truly hope that those individuals can find peace and forgiveness in themselves.

What is the condition of your heart? Can you honestly say you’ve let go of hurt and can love? It doesn’t have to be romantic love–there are plenty of times when someone’s hurt my heart but they have been friends, co-workers or sometimes even a random stranger. (When I was a freshman in college, a young man walked up to me and asked if there were “any good looking girls at this school?” That was enough to damage my self esteem and heart for a good long time).

The path you chose in life my be an excellent one. By all means, continue on that journey! For many of us, the road we travelled when we were younger was fraught with missteps or even disasters. We may never forget, but we can take those memories and relegate them to a closet in our heart. Maybe take them out of that hiding place to examine them and forge forward, but keep as a memory only, not a way of life.

As an inventor, Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Edison allegedly said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”  Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

 For though the upright falls seven times, he gets up again; the wicked are the ones who stumble in adversity. Should your enemy fall, do not rejoice, when he stumbles do not let your heart exult.
~Proverbs 24:16-17

Is the path you chose the path you still choose?