The thing about yesterday is that it’s gone.
Done. Over. Finished.
No matter how righteously we lived those twenty-four hours, or how grossly we mismanaged them, no life remains in that day. It is essentially dead…and we all know what happens if dead things are not buried. Yep, that’s right—they raise a doggone obnoxious stink.
So we should live each day as we wish, because when tomorrow comes, today is dead. Now, come on…I know you didn’t really say that!
Burying a man doesn’t undo all the good he might have done while he lived. Nor does it heal all the hurts or close all the wounds he inflicted. And letting yesterday go doesn’t erase the impressions we made on others, the kindnesses or cruelties we committed, the footprints we left in the sands of time.
I loved my Dad. Adored him. He was and will always remain my hero. When he died, I seriously questioned how I could possibly go on without him. And yet, I knew I had to keep living. It would have negated all the wisdom he ever shared with me had I stretched myself across his grave and insisted on dying too. I had to honor his memory by living what remains of my life according to the principles of honesty and integrity that he taught me by example. The physical, flesh-and-bone creature who was “Daddy” is gone…nothing he did in his life, right or wrong, can be changed. But the essence of who he was lives on—in me, in my siblings, and in the lives he touched, for good or bad, while he lived.
So yesterday’s gone, but not forgotten.
We’ve all made mistakes we wish we could un-make. We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of, and wish we could un-do. I certainly have.
Regret is a fact of life. And it can be a good thing. Those who commit atrocious acts and experience no sense of shame or sorrow for their actions have problems far more serious than I’m qualified to discuss.
But regret that doesn’t result in change—which brings about a measure of peace and self-forgiveness—is counteractive. It gives yesterday the power to ruin today and tomorrow.
Let’s bury the past, with all its mistakes and regrets; cover it over with the lessons we learned from living it; and plant within that fertile new soil a thousand seeds of hope and change, of goodness, kindness and love.
Grow a better tomorrow from the seeds we plant today on yesterday’s grave.
It’s a way to turn yesterday’s ugliness into tomorrow’s beauty—and yesterday’s beauty into a glorious future.