I am a prisoner to my past. I can’t change what was, only what is.
I live within a constant state of change. This means I’m not the same person I was when I started typing this sentence, let alone yesterday or last year!
In the asana yoga practice it’s possible to identify that your physical body feels different compared to the last time you practiced. I think it’s less easy though to have the same awareness and realisation of the mind.
If I’m a different person today then it can be challenging for me to take responsibility for the actions of the me from yesterday. Yes, it was technically me, but the me right now is bound to the actions of all the previous versions of me, regardless of how much I’ve changed. The more mindful and self aware I become the more difficult it can be to deal with that realisation.
If I’m continually evolving then what is it that remains constant and defines *Me*? At present I believe it’s consciousness - objective observer of that change, of self. But consciousness/being witness of this isn’t enough on its own to evolve, it also requires choice - observing the changing thoughts and feelings, and *choosing* which to indulge in and act upon.
However, when my consciousness starts to take the responsibility for having caused pain to oneself, loved ones, and even strangers, then it’s possible to chastise myself and indulge in that judgement. But this can be unhelpful if I becomes consumed by thoughts not grounded in truth and rationality, and can, and has, lead to sadness and even depression. And it can be such a struggle to climb out of that mind-space.
I don’t think redemption/solace is found in self-judgement, but in the choice to learn from those past thoughts/feelings/actions so as to endeavour to not repeat the same patterns in the future.
And that’s all I can do. Alas, whilst I can (and do) say sorry for the suffering caused by historical versions of me, apologies can’t alter the past. But consciousness and choice can influence the present, and perhaps even the future. If I can accept and love the current me and not hold onto previous versions, then hopefully others can too. Judge me for the choices I make today with an awareness of the past, not my errs of yesterday.