What do you tell yourself?

“I wouldn’t change a thing I’ve done because it has made me who I am.”

Is this true or is it a way to avoid responsibility for the mistakes we’ve made?

If it isn’t true, how do you choose which choices in your past made you the person you are today?  Personally, I think major decisions are made by you, navigated by your core beliefs.  At the same time, I don’t think that they’re always the right decision.  For example, I married the wrong person when I was 20.  I learned a lifetime of lessons, including what I want, what I won’t tolerate, and how I want my life to be.  I had two beautiful children.  Did this contribute to who I am?  Absolutely.  I think every relationship helps you better identify who you are, what you need, and above all, what you do not.  Another example- I went on A LOT of bad dates.  Did I need these experiences to make me who I am?  No, although I can look back, laughing and wanting to throw up all at the same time.  What about a DUI?  No, I’ve never had one, but most people who have still drink and drive.  Statistically 1/3 of all DUI’s are repeat offenders.  So did the consequence of a DUI change who you are?  33% of time the answer is no.  It simply made the offender aware of the consequences of his actions.

There are plenty of mistakes you have made that yes, added to your life experiences.  (At this point I’m referring to the insignificant experiences-the things that don’t seem to have been life changing.)  But did it really have any input on who you are today?  Take the artificial friendships you had in high school or the work place.  Do you think that with the absence of these “friendships” that you would be a different person?   I think there are plenty of past actions that I could absolutely delete (if that were possible) and I would still be exactly who I am today.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would change some of the choices in my past if given the chance.  Obviously that is impossible, so I have to accept it and learn from it. I believe that is where the term, “life experience” came from.  However, I don’t think that those experiences were essential in making me who I am today.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I think I was born and raised with morals and values and no matter how I ever did or may ever stray from them, I’m still me.  I’m still the person I was created to be.  Having the ability to evaluate those experiences in hindsight and recognize the right and wrong doesn’t change anything.  Paying consequences for an action doesn’t always mean that you learned from it, in the sense that it changed you.  In fact, most times it just makes you aware of what could happen if you make that mistake again and you do it anyways.

My point is that you are who you are.  (I’m sure my grammar was way off in that statement, but I’m a hair stylist.  Not an english teacher.)  I believe it is okay to have regrets.  I don’t think you need to defend your mistakes by saying that they MADE you the person you are today.  You are special and you have value and it’s okay to have regrets.  Being able to identify regret and separate it from defining you is what makes you who you are today.  At least in my opinion.

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