Some people learn to travel light, but everyone carries at leas some baggage. I do mean everyone. I think we would be stunned if we knew what kind of “stuff” from the past that those around us are carrying around. I wish it was not true, but the experiences we have as children and teens have an uncanny way of staying with us. Encounters that caused hurt feelings and or even incidences of abuse have a way taking up permanent residence in our hearts.
We all made poor choices when we were young. We said and did things to our peers that we deeply regret now. We were generally irresponsible. Some of us even committed offenses that hurt our credibility in the eyes of those around us at the time.
It used to be very difficult, if not impossible, to go back and make amends for our bad behavior toward others. How do you find someone who perhaps lives in a different state? When a woman marries and assumes another name that makes it even more difficult to find her. Online social networking has changed everything.
I know most of us have heard horror stories about sites such as www.myspace.com and www.facebook.com. My experience with facebook in particular has been overwhelmingly positive. I have reconnected with old friends from every era in my life. And I have made new friends as well! But this week I discovered that facebook has redeeming value in more ways than one.
A friend of mine shared a story about an occurrence that happened when she was a teenager that involved an acquaintance from school. Bear in mind that this event happened well over 30 years ago. I want to protect the privacy of all parties involved, so I won’t disclose many details. Suffice to say that the young teenage boy conducted himself in a way that was dishonest and deceitful. Her parents were fully aware of his indiscretions as well. It was just a bad deal. He proceeded to carry the baggage of his poor choices with him for over three decades.
But enter facebook. I really should say: enter facebook and intersect that social networking site with a tender and penitent heart. The teenage boy is nearly 50 years old today. He found my friend on facebook, and used that forum to apologize for his lack of honesty years ago. She in turn shared his story with her parents. Her mother wrote him an amazing note expressing forgiveness and reassurance.
I can’t help but wonder how many relationships have been reconciled on facebook. People that hurt each other decades ago now have a means of finding one another and issuing an apology. The baggage that we carry around with us can finally be released, because we might actually find the person whom we offended way back in the past.
I am asking myself tonight: Is there anyone that I have overlooked to apologize to from way back in the day? What about you? Is there someone you can find on facebook? Don’t hesitate to search for that person and friend them. The baggage of guilt and unconfessed indiscretions gets awful heavy… There really is NO need for guilt!