This is exactly what I mean. Perhaps I’m paying for the past with living in perpetual anxiety. Perhaps it will resurface too. Who knows. Either way I’ll pay for it.
We always pay for it, one way or another. So it’s hardly necessary for us to torment ourselves about it in the process because I believe that if we’re sincere, the trials that befall us in life is a direct result of that which we previously perpetrated against others. It always reminds me of that verse from Surah Baqara that says:
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. ~ Qur’an 2:286
The verse that immediately follows it is probably the most important plea to Allah that any believer can make (in my opinion anyway):
“Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” ~ Qur’an 2:286
Feeling guilty or expecting to pay for what you did, and letting it show in the way you handle similar situations in future is reflective of remorse. Those that lack remorse are usually arrogant, condescending and inconsiderate in their demeanour. The world is full of people like that. Excessive guilt over past mistakes can be unnecessarily damaging to the point where it prevents us from pursuing good actions as well. It’s a vicious cycle that usually has no end in sight, which is why it’s important to remain grounded about it. That’s why we’re taught that:
None of you should die without expecting good from Allah.
[Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6877]
This is starting to sound like a bayaan. 🙂 But I guess I need these reminders more than anyone else, since like many others, I am my own worst enemy. Besides, we live in a world where there is no shortage of people that want to rub your nose in your past mistakes, so why do it to yourself?