by Todd Goodwin
I would like to introduce myself… or should I say re-introduce myself. Everybody knows me, but many have either chosen to forget me or tried to get past me. But, I’m just not that easy to forget. You see, I have a knack for working my way into everybody’s life whether they like it or not or whether they know it or not.
My name is Yesterday. See, I told you. You remember me. I’m one of those… things… you just can’t get over or forget. People have worked very hard to do just that: “get over” me, “get past” me, “get on with their life,” “forget” me, and so on. Nonetheless, I’m here and I am here to stay.
Did you know that there is a whole industry of self-help that exists to assist you in trying to eliminate me from your life? I’m your friend. I want to help you remember all the times we had—the memories, the fun, the parties, the games we used to play, the ups and down, the ins and outs of life. I’ve been there by your side each step of the way. You have tried to get rid of me over the years, but to no avail. It’s not that I can’t; I DON’T go away.
You may remember some of my friends that I like to hang out with. Well, kind of… You know them as Sorrow, Pain, Hurt, Unforgiveness, and Sadness. Those are just a few. I have many more friends who help me help you not to “forget”. I call them up from time to time when I need them. For the most part, they do pretty well on their own.
However, there is one friend—that may be too strong of a word for me to call him—who comes in and takes things to a whole new level. He can be quite imposing with his 6’ 8” and 385 lb. stature, especially when he shows up, kicks in the door, and stands staring at us from the doorway. It’s intimidating. You never really know when he’s going to show up, yet you can feel him the moment he arrives, sucking all the energy out of the room with his arrogant, half-cocked smile. He knows what he’s doing. He is sucking the very life force out of us. And he likes it. He walks over, gaze unwavering, and parks himself in the recliner. He comes for a day or two. Sometimes, he stays for weeks. Some have said that his visits last for years—two, three, even ten to fifteen—the entire time drawing every morsel of energy from them. We all let him in the door, knowing good and well what he’s going to do and without the knowledge of how long he’s going to stay. Regardless, we let him in. But, when he does leave… good riddance!
This acquaintance is Regret. Yeah, we all know him and, truth be told, none of us like him. I don’t care to use the word hate often, but for lack of a better word I would say I hate him. His timing has a lot to do with my other friends: Sorrow, Pain, Hurt, Unforgiveness, Sadness, and so on. He gets in the door through them, and they don’t even realize what they’ve done until it is too late.
Well, enough about him. You see how Regret can take over. He has a talent for it.
Anyways, let’s talk about some of my other friends who are more unique. Honestly, they are the complete opposite of me. I am memories and thoughts of a time gone by. They are so different that I don’t always understand them.
For instance, my friend The Present is always there. Whenever I need him, he’s just there. I don’t even have to call him, text him, email him… I don’t have to do anything. He is just always on time. The Present is one of the most dependable friends I have. In fact, he is the most dependable friend that I have.
The other two friends I want to mention, Future and Hope, are pretty much always hanging out together. Future is somewhat ambiguous and mysterious. Sometimes I can see where he is going, but at the last minute he’ll take an unexpected turn and throw me off. It’s cool and fun, but his detours are not always easy to handle. Hope is the most confusing and hard to understand. Every time I’m around her, though, I feel better. I feel like I get Future and The Present and who they are, but for some reason I can’t really read Hope. Truth be told, I’ve never been able to look directly into her eyes. I can look “through” her eyes, though. When I do, I see The Present, Future, and all my other friends in a whole new way. It even gives me confidence in Tomorrow. (Tomorrow is pretty awesome, if you ask me, but I can tell you about him another time.) Hope helps me believe in myself and that, no matter what all my other friends say, I know I can be a good friend to you.
My friendship with you is not about what we did years ago, what happened to us, or even what was done to us. You see, I don’t want us to live in the years gone by. What I can offer you is much more important than that. Our friendship is about The Present, Tomorrow, Future, and most importantly Hope. I also have the awesome ability to teach you. Yes, you can learn from me, from Yesterday. As a matter of fact, that’s the greatest thing you can do with me. You should do all that you can to learn from me since you can’t relive the good, bad, or ugly of Yesterday. While I teach you, I’ve asked Wisdom and Knowledge to join me as well so that we can all become best friends with The Present, Future, and Hope.
I am Yesterday. I’m never going away, but I can be a friend to you and not a foe. Let me teach you so that you can live as a conqueror. No, not just a conqueror… But, more than a conqueror.