There’s a great line from a movie where an older man is dying, and talking to a college kid. The kid is kind of giving him shit about the choices that he has made. The older man say’s “The view is different when you’re heading out, then when you’re first coming in.” Boom! I felt that years ago. But today, I fully understand it.

I have always been a long hair hippie type. Peace loving, crystal carrying and social justice fighting type of guy. And when I look back, a lot of it was done out of arrogance. I didn’t truly give you a chance, if you didn’t subscribe to my point of view. Like I had all the answers. I mean of course, my heart was in the right place. But looking back, I can see where it may have come off judgmental. And the truth is, the view is very different as we get older.

I used to say that when I was in my 20’s, I knew everything. In my 30’s, I realized that I needed to learn a few things. And in my 40’s, I realized that I didn’t know shit. Well here I am pushing 60, and none of it really matters anymore. I care. I care deeply. But to feel the need to impose my feelings, thoughts or ideology on another person is all but gone. In addition to that, the judgement is gone. I see people criticizing others for their past. Look, I get it. We should be held accountable. But it’s like we don’t allow for people to grow. To change their minds. Let me be the first to tell you, I am not the same man I was 5 years ago. In reality, because of the insane amount of meditating I do, I am not the same man as I was 6 months ago.

Stop judging! The view changes. And if it doesn’t, you have not grown as a person. Have you ever seen parents that had multiple children? The first child didn’t get away with anything. But come the forth child, short of setting the house on fire, they pretty much do what they want. I’m not saying this is neither good nor bad. But, the view changes. Life may have worn them down a bit. They tend to hyper focus on what is really important. Not all the little things that really don’t play that big of a part in their development. Are they fed? Are they loved? Do they feel supported? Boom! Everything else is just bells and whistles.

Some of the kindest people I know, come from an unspeakable background. And how did they become kind people? Because somewhere along the way, someone didn’t constantly throw their past in their face. They realized that sometimes, some very good people do some very bad things. I have always been a rock solid guy. But there was a period of about 4 years that I lost my way. And I too, did the unspeakable. But someone withheld their judgement. And that was all I needed to know, that although flawed, I was not forgotten.

Stop looking in the rearview mirror. The windshield in front of you is so much bigger for a reason. Focus on where you are going, not where you have been. And if you can do that, the view will become clear, and you can put distance between you and your unspeakable.

I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years, and have spent the last decade working as both a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist.