THAT guy. We all know him. He’s the guy who makes a fool of himself at the company party. The one who wears pajama pants to WalMart. The facebook post-er whose TMI-post is cringe-worthy and you feel embarrassed for his wife. The guy who loses his cool and quits a job he really needs. The one who leaves his wife for another woman. Yeah, THAT guy, too.
But there is another kind of “THAT guy” and he is me. Or thee. Or we. Whichever the case may be. We are THAT guy. Or, maybe we were THAT guy.
THAT guy lives in our past. He is what is behind us. The one who was us. The one who did something so outrageous or embarrassing or humiliating or…. just evil. THAT guy. And we know him. All to well, probably.
And when we look back on THAT guy, we realize we are no longer THAT guy, but we’re THIS guy. Got it? Not THAT guy. We are THIS guy. We are not THAT guy anymore. We’ve moved on. We’ve made peace with our past. Or we allowed God to make peace with it for us. Or we’ve locked the memory away. Repressed it. Whatever we did to deal with it, we are no longer THAT guy because we are now THIS guy. And that matters.
We could go on about how our past doesn’t define us. How we all make mistakes. How we need to get over it. How we need to live in the present and not the past. You know, leave it behind.
But here is the kicker for THIS guy. When others around THIS guy know about THAT guy and they want to keep THAT guy around, that’s a problem for THIS guy. They won’t let THAT guy be THAT guy and embrace THIS guy. They won’t let THAT guy go. They want to remind you, control you, wield power over you because you were THAT guy. They know what you did last summer and they want you to wallow in, no, rub your nose in THAT guy.
Maybe they can’t see THIS guy and the progress he’s made. Maybe they don’t want to. It’s easier to keep THAT guy’s paradigm around. Like the streets of our home town, we’re familiar with it. Know where the potholes are. The stop signs. And we don’t like change. And they want you to remember THAT guy, too. Because THAT guy was bad, or stupid, or silly, or evil. And THAT guy is still THAT guy.
But, in most cases he’s not. He’s THIS guy. And being true to THIS guy is the challenge. It’s imperative, regardless of others’ insistence on THAT guy returning, that THIS guy stay and THAT guy stay gone. So if you’re THIS guy, resist. Be THIS guy. Because you are THIS guy.