… Transformers III: Dark of the Moon: the part where Dutch goes all ninja.
Sam, Simmons, and Dutch have entered an unsavory situation, filled with several (probably armed) people who don’t like them. Just when it seems that the good guys are about to get in serious trouble, Dutch starts breaking arms and taking guns, quickly placing himself in charge and glaring at everyone with cold calm. When Simmons speaks to him in German – admonishing him, clearly – Dutch’s expression changes to one of contrition, and he drops his guns and apologizes to the bad guys: “I’m so sorry! That was the old me!” He instantly transforms back to the easy-going, placid man he had been during the rest of the movie.
We all spend way too much time rehashing our pasts to ourselves – not just the hurts that others have caused us, but also (or even more so) the hurts we have caused others. We question our right to let things go, because what if we haven’t been “punished” enough for our transgressions? We question our current worth based on the mistakes of the past – mistakes we made years ago, maybe even mistakes from our childhoods. But one of the reasons we can’t let these things go is that we can’t go back and un-do it. We don’t have the ability to go back in time and change what we did, and so we do the next best thing: we live in the past in our heads, and we feel bad for our crimes forever.
What if we went “Dutch” instead? What if we committed to changing our ways, and simply moved forward while our mistakes stayed behind us? What if, when we found ourselves repeating old habits or attitudes or actions, we just accepted that it happened, and apologized, and recommitted to the “new” us? What if we accepted that it really is okay to do that? – no punishment, just improvement. No rehashing, just making amends and moving on. No baggage, just a one-way ticket to the person we wanted to be in the first place.
Practice with me, now: “That was the old me!” – and then let the old-me go.
… Unless at some point you need to go ninja.