We were all young and stupid once. In one way or another.
Do you remember driving home from a night of cocktails, clearly impaired, with one eye closed because you were seeing double? I do.
Do you remember thinking that no one over 30 had anything worthwhile to offer? I do.
Do you remember being careless and cavalier with the feelings of a romantic partner? I do.
Most of that behavior is cringeworthy, now that I am old enough to know better.
Being young and stupid is almost a rite of passage. It’s almost as if we have to think we know everything to just get through youth.
From time to time I see young people I know going through it: the young relationship that is clearly out of balance, the attitude that what they know at 21 is the sum total of fact.
There’s no point saying anything. You can’t really shortcut the process for them, much as you’d like to, because there are lessons to be learned from it. We just have to hope and pray they get through it alive or with a minimum of damage. It’s a wonder we did.
I can still be thoughtless. I can still hurt others. I work at not being that way, but, as Baba Ram Dass said, we’re human. This is Soul School and we are students here.
Some degree of introspection is necessary to take the lesson, looking deep within at what we do/did and maybe even why. We aren’t always honest with ourselves, either.
I find myself thinking about my own young life more these days of greying hair and mounting years; the times I behaved badly and what I learned. Or what I should’ve learned. It’s a funny thing: when we hurt someone else we wound ourselves in a way.
Sometimes I feel deep regret at things I’ve done in the past and even now consider what exactly I should’ve learned. It might seem a little late in life to be taking the lesson, but it is never too late to grow.
Regret alone is a wasted emotion, but regret coupled with introspection and learning? Definitely the way to go.
Growth is healing. And we all have healing to do, don’t we?
And that’s what I’m thinking about as I write on this winter afternoon.
Speaking of healing, we have some resources for healing right here.