“Nothing in the universe can make you relive some painful moment from your past as long as you choose to live from the higher understanding that no old dark thought has the power to define you, let alone drag you down.” – Guy Finley

Old dark thoughts do not have the power to define you, let alone drag you down – this is what “the truth sets us free” from. The truth doesn’t make the mistake go away, but instead we come to understand that one action (either good or bad) does not define who we are. 

As a society we tend to take a single action and let that one mistake define a person. They become a hero or a zero in that one moment. Take an example like a successful business person who has donated both time and money to charity, who has a strong loving family, and who one night makes an error in judgment to drive after having 3 drinks with dinner, and who then has a car accident – does this one error in judgment forever define him as a drunk driver? It shouldn’t, but it sometimes does.

We tend to judge others like we judge ourselves in our heads, negatively. We really need to look at not only our own internal judgments, but also those judgments that we make about others. Instead of defining a person by one action, we need to define them by all of their actions, as a whole person. If you want to know how judgmental you are, look at the judgments that you form about others that you may barely know based on something that you heard or read. The same way that we are judging them, so will we internally condemn ourselves.

So listen to how you talk about others; how you judge them based on some single action and then take a moment to mentally write down every positive thing they have ever done. Who is this person as a total person? Now do the same thing for yourself. Who are you as a woman; a daughter; a sister; a friend; a spouse; a mother; a grandmother; as a worker (business owner/employee/employer); as a total human being? Note the wonderful things that you have done for society, for your family; for your friends – everything you have accomplished since you were born – look at all the good that has been done and realize that these are only the things that you know about or will permit yourself to acknowledge. Your friends and family could expand that list (probably by pages and pages), as well as the kindness you have displayed to strangers that changed their life and you didn’t even know about it.

Give yourself the acknowledgement that one deed does not define a person, but rather it is a lifetime of accomplishments, good and bad that say who you are. You will recognize that the truth sets you free from both internal and external judgments when your conversations, both internal and external, look at the total truth to define both ourselves and others.

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.