One Life

“Releasing the past and embracing forgiveness, I am refreshed and renewed.”

As you grow older, you realize that the most beautiful people are the kindest people, the people with the biggest hearts… the people who are happy because they’ve found comfort in their hardships and learned unmistakable lessons in their trials. You realize that the people who acknowledge their pasts, yet assign no blame, bear the most beautiful souls and are happy because of their ability and willingness to help others.

You realize that the wisest people are the people who learned love from a loveless world; who learned grace in a tactless world; and who show mercy to the undeserving, though they were the deserving and were shown none. You realize that people learn more from mistakes than from perfection, and that imperfection is beauty. You realize that the least judgmental people have been judged the most, and that the deepest scars are unseen, yet surface the most.

You realize that your past serves a purpose, and lessons you didn’t want to learn held meaning. You realize that each person in your life– no matter how little or long their time in your life was– affected your future. You realize that the past is a not a chapter to outrun, but something to be embraced, overcome, and appreciated. You learn to be OK with the past because the unwillingness and inability to do so allows for minimal progress, if any.

You realize that we are all sinners and we all make mistakes, and will continue to do so. You realize that there is a significant difference between acknowledging such a fact and implementing change and a conscious effort to become a better person and trying to not make the same mistakes over and over again. You realize that the want to change is different from the will to change is different from taking action to change.

You realize that the words “I’m sorry” are two of the hardest to speak, yet are two of the most freeing. You realize that change, forgiveness, and humility are hard– yet there can be no change without resistance, no growth without forgiveness, and no true character without humility. You realize the distinction between words and actions; between saying “you’re forgiven” and “what you did was OK”; and you accept that you wouldn’t be who you are or where you are without at least one other person in your life.

You realize that life, though beautiful, is also relentless, and waits for no one– including you. You realize that life is a thing to be lived, a gift to be shared, and a journey to be traveled. So smile until your cheeks hurt, laugh until your sides ache, and cry until you can’t.

And as you get older, you realize–before it’s too late, if you’re lucky– that there is only one of you in this whole entire world. One of you to share your gifts, your talents, and your beauty. Accept your past and seize your future, because you realize once it’s gone, it’s gone.

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