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It seems some days like there’s a whole industry out there built around telling you that your past actions have no consequence.

You can lose all that nasty fat in 30 days. You can restore your credit in three months. You can find forgiveness for all your past transgressions. You can recapture and fix your past for the bargain price of $3,999. In short with enough hard work, you can find a way to fix a broken past.

Now to an extent, this is true. You can actually undo years of damage to your body with an sound nutrition and exercise program. You can find forgiveness if you are willing to give a sincere apology and make amends for your past acts. You can even pay various agencies to go back in time and edit out your mistakes. That may cost you a little more than $3,999.

What you can’t do is ignore your role in generating those situations in the first place. You can’t erase the memory of someone you’ve hurt. Time may ease the pain, it may not. There’s an indelible mark left in place. Years of yo-yo weight loss will leave you with damage to your body. Surgery may correct loose skin, but it will always come with scars. It’s another mark you’ll have to live with.

We get so obsessed with hiding these scars, and avoiding the painful actions of the past that we forget the valuable lessons they contain. The scar on your knee reminds you to pay attention when you run. The anger in the eyes of a former friend reminds you to consider the impact of your actions on others. Stretch marks from years of weight gain are the badge showing that you’ve figured out how to lose the weight.

Your actions good and bad will have consequences. Those consequences will always be a part of your life. Trying to hide from them dishonors you and the people around you. Step up, face your actions, and honor the scars physical and mental which make you the person you are today.