Finding the ability to make peace with our past is more than a challenge, it’s akin to climbing Mount Everest with little to no training. At least that is how it feels to me. Challenges do not scare me, neither do confrontations, I was born a fighter, and to quote my mom, I am scrappy. I know I am resourceful enough to always land on my feet, but regardless of my past track record, I still struggle making peace with my past.

My daughter and I are avid “Fast and Furious” fans. We have seen every movie multiple times, and some of our favorite quotes come from these movies. We made sure to be at the movies, our first post pandemic, to view F9, the latest installment. Settling into our seats, my heart was overflowing with happiness that my 17-year-old still wanted to see these movies with me. As we fell into the story, a line popped out and stuck with me, “Make peace with your past to find hope for your future.” What a profound line. I mulled it over for days after the movie, seeing the power and truth in this statement.

Without peace, we cannot have hope, and without hope, we lack resiliency. Such a simple statement, three small words, yet the entire truth of the universe is contained in these words. Perhaps these three words hold the secret to life, the key to finding prosperity. I suspect they do. We make life so complicated, we want long, complicated, drawn out theories to explain why we are unhappy, or how to solve world hunger. We long for complicated solutions because we can find valid reasons to justify our failures in the multiple steps and complex details. Working through anything complicated gives us a sense of accomplishment, a sense of purpose, today we were adults. But were we?

Have you ever thought that perhaps the single reason so many people are unhappy, angry, depressed, hungry, or unemployed is because of the complicated, bureaucratic nonsense we force everyone to complete? When you are unemployed, your children are hungry, and you are asked to find two proofs of ID, and they must be government issued, proof of address, and proof of income or lack of income, did the process to get food stamps just became impossible for that person? Yet, we sit back, feeling justified in the denial, because there must be processes, and we must make it too complicated for people to take advantage of the system.

I don’t know about you, but I have much better things to do than try to scam the system. I suspect most people are like me. There are sunrises to watch while drinking the perfect cup of coffee in my backyard as I listen to my dogs play, beaches to walk looking for the perfect piece of driftwood to complement the trip, and long conversations with people I care about to be had. These things may seem trivial, even immature, but for me, they comprise the meaning of life, the creation of the perfect day.

We must make peace with our past, forgive those who hurt us, forget the slights or would be hurts if we had not stopped them. As a person, a family, and a community, the only way forward is to make peace with our past and start the process of building hope for our future.

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Sara Orellana-Paape lives in Lawton.