We all make mistakes and do things we regret, it's part of the human experience. That's why there's an atonement in the first place because Heavenly Father understood that we couldn't learn without experience moments of weakness. Without screwing up every once in a while, we can't grow. I think that we spend too much time dwelling on how terrible we are and not enough time focusing on our personal growth. I'll be the first to admit that I struggled with this same insecurity growing up as a teenager because of some mistakes that I had made during my life. This guilt and constant dwelling on the past made it extremely hard to grow and develop my own self-worth. However as I've grown and stop letting guilt define my past and present, my self-esteem has grown and I've grown as a person. The fact of the matter is that everyone deserves to be loved no matter where they come from or what they've done. I'm not saying that it's not important to understand someone's past when you're going into a relationship, however I think it's imperative that we understand that people can change and grow. Most of all, we need to learn how to forgive ourselves so that we can accept the love others are willing to give to us if we just let them love us.
I can think of one particular example from earlier this year that really helped me understand the power of letting go of the past and focusing on our current progress can have. I had the opportunity to go on a date with a girl who had been previously married for the first time in my life. It would have been really easy for me to not give her a shot but as I had the chance to get to know her during the one date we went on, I was extremely impressed with the person that she was and how going through the trials that come with divorce made her a stronger person. She had come to the grips with the fact that she had gone through hard times and trials I couldn't imagine experiencing and really made the best of the situation. She learned from the past but didn't let that past define who she was as a person. Even though I only went on this one date with her and probably won't see her again, the one day I got to know her taught me more about growth than any other date I can remember.
We aren't perfect and we're not supposed to be. It's one of the most beautiful aspects of the human experience. We're all different, we're all unique and yet there always seems to be a ying to our yang somewhere. We all have someone who cares about us and wants the best for us. The vast majority of us will experience love in all of it's romantic splendor at some point in our lives and we all deserve it. We are equally valuable to the human experience because we each bring something unique to it even if our contribution is a pretentious taste in music and TV or writing a silly dating blog once every couple of months. Speaking of pretentious music taste, it's my favorite part of the blog where I get to post an awesome video of great music. Here's a little Sharon Van Etten finish off the blog right!