“If you live like it’s the past and you behave like it’s the past,
then guys from the future find it very hard to see you.”
–Body of Lies
I’ve been lying to myself. Ever since the moment I stepped out of prison, I’ve been lying to myself. I’ve been perpetuating a fallacy upon myself which has diluted my entire world-view and skewed my perspective of life. Because ever since I walked out of prison, I’ve been trying to convince myself (and everyone around me) that I’m a better version of who I was. I keep trying to convince myself that I’m a more moral person than who I was, a better husband than who I was, a better father than who I was, and a better friend (to my few remaining friends) than who I was.
But here’s the egregious error I’ve been making: I have been comparing who I am now with who I was then. I’ve done this in multiple blog posts and several of my books. But today, I believe I’ve come to the realization that this perspective is errant. But the fact of the matter is, I am so far removed from my past, that comparing the “me” of today to the “me” of my past has become an apples-and-oranges comparison.
The person I am now holds no resemblance to who I was then, so I must stop comparing my current state-of-being with that of the horrid person I was when I was living in the depths of the moral valley of my life. I must stop comparing myself to who I was.
What I must do instead is compare myself to who I will be in the future. Rather than looking back and lamenting about the sins of my past and taking comfort in the progress I’ve made as a person, I must look forward with hope, aspiration, and determination — I must strive to be a better person tomorrow than I am today.
As a guy in my Sex Addicts Anonymous group likes to say, I must “stop hoping for a better past.” Nothing I do now will change anything that happened in the past. However, everything I do now will impact the future. Therefore, I must be the best possible person I can be today, hoping that person will become an even better individual tomorrow.
We must all strive to be a better person tomorrow than we are today.
That, in life, is progress!