If Only…

Oh, if only…
Sigh.

There were those moments.
Moments when I didn’t say words that were kind.
Moments when I was more concerned with what others might think about my opinion, than with what needed to be said.

Moments that would have welcomed a Do-Over.

If only…
…I had asked myself if my words were loving before they left my mouth.
…I had chosen to be inclusive rather than exclusive.
…I had considered the other person’s heart instead of my own insecurities.

The moments that can so quickly strangle my peace were not “big deal” events. Just very casual conversations. Very tiny blips on my life screen. They happened a long, long time ago. There is nothing that still needs to be made right.

But…if I let those memories find a place to sit in my mind, they can easily fill me with great disappointment in myself. The memories start me down that ugly spiral in my head that eventually leads to You just aren’t a nice person, Gaye.

Good grief. The lies we choose to believe sometimes.

Maybe you are sometimes reminded of things in your past that have been dealt with, forgiven. Nothing left to make right. But they still bubble up and grip your heart and make you feel less-than. I get it.

We can find encouragement in the words of one of my favorite authors, Frederick Buechner…

The sad things that happened long ago will always remain part of who we are just as the glad and gracious things will too, but instead of being a burden of guilt, recrimination, and regret that make us constantly stumble as we go, even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead. *

So…
We can’t change our past.
We can’t undo our actions or un-say our words.

But…
No matter how small or sad or tragic our If only moments are…
They remind us to live differently today. They give us wisdom.

Today we can change our story by our words and actions.
Today we can choose to be different people, because of what we’ve learned from the past.

Today we can show ourselves Grace, having received it first from The Great Grace-Giver.

* Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner, pg. 323

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