OMG! I just realized that it is still February. Now it all makes sense. I'll explain.... Every year around this time, I find myself putting my entire life on trial. Every little choice, event, and performance, gets examined and cross-examined. It is an annual ritual that I despise, and I try to squash it when I become aware that I'm doing it. It usually sneaks up on me, so it's not easy to detect when it first begins.
Nevertheless, it always ends the same way. I realize that I can't change the past and I have to look forward and create the future that I want.
The past is just that. The past. Living in the past doesn't help. That's because you can't get back there (at least without help from some kind of time shift). In my case, I don't want to live in my past.
The thing is, I'm here in the present and I've survived my past. I'm happy to be alive! I'll remember my past, so I don't repeat it, but I won't allow myself to wallow in the pain and despair that I went through to get where I am today.
When I look back, I get a sense of weakness, failure, total despair, and shame. The truth is, that I survived, so that makes me a very strong person. If I'm here, which I am, then I have succeeded. And as far as the total despair, I'm happy with who I am now. I might not have a lot of money, but I have something much more valuable than money. I have honesty, love, caring, a good soul, and hope. I am no longer ashamed of who I am either. I'm gay and I'm proud of that. I no longer wish I was anything other than who I am. I might not show affection out in public as much as I'd like to, but that is out of fear, not shame.
I'm an overall good person. I can't help my past, but I have control of the direction of my future. We can't control our future, but we can help move it in the right direction.