It’s quite possible by the time you read this letter toothpaste may not be what it is today. Just in case, as of today, January 14, 2018, toothpaste comes in a squeezable tube and it’s just that — a thick, gooey paste. And it’s impossible to stick back in the tube once you squeeze it out.
Here’s a picture of modern day toothpaste:
Now, imagine trying to get that paste back into that tube. It. Is. Impossible.
Basically, “you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” means that once you take an action, once you do something, you can’t take it back. It’s done. It doesn’t really matter what you did. Whether it’s buying a house, hurting a friend, or having a child, once you take the action, you own it and all the joys and conflicts that come as a result.
When blessings come from the decisions you make, enjoy them. When conflicts arise, own your decisions and work to improve the circumstances that arise.
A good example is my relationship with you. I’ve had to make some very, very difficult decisions after you were born. The biggest being the decision not to move with your mom when she moved with you. I don’t expect you to understand the situation while you’re young, but when you’re an adult you’ll understand just how impossible it would have been to remain a stable presence in your life if I had to follow your mom every new place she moved to.
Nevertheless, I’ve owned the decision to be your dad no matter where we live. I love you more than I could love anything else in this world, and there is nothing anyone could ever do or say that would cause me to give up my relationship with you.
No matter how far away I am, I will always do whatever I can to communicate with you and remain a present and positive influence in your life.
Other ways of saying the same thing:
- You can’t unring that bell. You can’t take that back.
- That ship has sailed.
- No use crying over spilt milk.
- Alea iact est (this is a phrase from Julius Ceasar when he marched his army back against Rome. It means “the die is cast,” as in “once you throw your dice in a game, you can’t change the result.
Life is full of choices. You will make some good ones and some bad ones. What I want you to do is own them all no matter what. Be responsible for what you do. Think about others before you speak and act. When the results of your actions bring you negative consequences, realize that the deed is done, you can’t take it back, and it’s time to move forward to fix the issue or put the problem behind you.
Trust me. If nothing else, when you have a kid, you’ll understand. Once the toothpaste comes out, it can be a mess. You can clean it up, but you can’t put it back in the tube.
I love you sweet girl!
P. S. How many apples grow on a tree?
All of them
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