That Moment on the Beach

I just saw the picture Bert Weiss posted of his Dad on the beach. It might have caused a tear or two to roll down my cheek. I doubt I am the only one.

Mine were tears of happiness. Tears for Mr. Weiss, who is experiencing a great and serene moment that he never thought he would have again. And tears for Bert, because he is realizing and experiencing something that sadly doesn’t happen to everyone. He has been able to leave the past behind him and move forward with his head high, eyes only focused on what is ahead.

So many of us have the vines of past relationships, grievances, and experiences wrapped around us. Maybe around our ankles, tripping us up as we try to move on. Maybe around our waist, letting us stretch and reach for what we want, but never letting us get close enough to grab. Maybe around our neck, choking and suffocating us so we can’t even see or think clearly, and preventing us from even realizing there is something beyond the past to reach for.

Bert was able to cut free of those vines. He never had a great relationship with his Dad, but he was able to leave that in the past. I know it wasn’t easy. But he did it. Both of them will always have that moment on the beach. That special shared experience. A moment of peace, kindness, and love. And because positive energy will flourish when nurtured and drown out the negative, that one brief afternoon on the beach will start to erase some of the negative of the past. Things certainly won’t be forgotten about, and they shouldn’t be. But brief glimpses of positive will shine through and erase some of the darkness. For nearly 14 years I have worked with Bert, and have never heard him say one positive thing about his Dad … until this week. He recognized his father as the reason he loves the beach and water so much. He credited his Dad with instilling in him his bond with his favorite place on the planet, the ocean. It’s already working. That fact was already there, but only started to show itself when the nasty, negative vines were cleared away.

Now is the perfect time for you to set your past behind you, fully, where it belongs. Go into 2015 with a clear path and bright, wide eyes.

You might need to forgive someone for their past behavior. Do it even if they aren’t asking for it. Do it for you. Let it go and move on. And don’t be a jerk and call them and tell them that you’re forgiving them (unless they’ve been asking you for forgiveness.) Just do it. This is about you moving on and getting right for the rest of your life.

You might need to forget someone or something. Not everything is forgivable. Sometimes, you just need to move on. Do that … but not before finding a lesson. Every experience we have exists to teach and prepare us for something coming our way. You owe it to yourself to find that lesson and take it all in. Getting knocked out sucks … but what sucks more is getting knocked out again, by the same fighter throwing the same punch. Don’t let that happen. Use the time while you’re getting off the mat to clear your head and think about how you’ll avoid getting hit so hard the next time. Then get up and keep on fighting. With eyes toward the future.

And you might need to ask someone to forgive you. You might need to pick up the phone or grab a pen and notepad and ask someone to grant you forgiveness for your past actions. They might not do that, and that is fine. But if you need to tell them you are sorry, do it. If you need to embrace the blame for your part in some drama, do it.

Don’t wait. Do it.

With all of the above, don’t have an expectation of their response. Be prepared, and accepting, of anything. There are no right answers or wrong answers. This is about you being a good person and the best person you can be. Not them.

Bert was fortunate that circumstances brought he and his father together this year. I know it’s hard for him now, but I have a feeling that when he looks back on this experience, it will be worth it.

The past belongs in the past. Cut the vines holding you back. If you’ve read this far, you know there is something you need to do. Now do it. Reach out. Don’t give negative space in your head. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Give the positive room to grow. You can’t change the past. You can only change how you are going to deal with it from this point forward.

Let it go. As of this moment.

Keep moving forward.