Not to have multiple sappy pieces this week, but we need to examine the emotion behind our actions and follow the path to how it got us where we are. I’ve shared a lot over the years here. My anxiety, my general fears, my struggle with work, my struggle with making decisions, letting go of people-pleasing, my losses and gains, my obsession with time (specifically my fear of it), my little triumphs in knowing myself, and my complete failures in relationships with those I love, the moments I know how to take care of me and the moments I go against everything I know. I mean, I don’t share everything in my life but I’m pretty open. With all of that, I’ve also been pretty candid about my regrets and how I’ve let my fears call the shots in too many areas of my life, and that I have more regrets than I want to carry.
Perhaps it’s stubbornness that doesn’t allow me to reframe what happened in my current context. Maybe I still carry a bit too much of the martyr syndrome. And there’s always the chance that I’m still not clear enough in who I am to know which way to move forward, to boldly state what I really want—or maybe I want too much and the universe is confused on what to do first. Either way, I’m definitely one who preaches that we can learn from our past but I have a hard time accepting that in my own life. Jay Shetty suggests we can revise our history. We can ease up a bit and create space for that reframing of the past. Sometimes the lessons don’t come forth for years—or we don’t understand it for years. Just because we can’t see the immediate value doesn’t mean there won’t be something valuable down the road. We also have the opportunity to assign value and give the event meaning—we can say, “This taught me X” and be grateful for it. There are times the universe wants you to do that so you can move forward.
And for those who are impatient or have ADHD and who struggle with time, we can give ourselves the constant reminder that just because we don’t see immediate value it doesn’t mean there won’t be value. I don’t pretend for a second that it’s easy to keep that perspective when it feels like things are falling apart—I have a melt-down at least once a week. Yet even I have to admit that life has a funny way of taking an insignificant moment and making it relevant or letting things fall apart only to reveal the path to the exact destination we want on the other side. The past that previously gave us pain now becomes meaningful and we understand why things happened as they did. I’d love to say I’ve witnessed it more often in my life, but that could be more to do with my stubbornness than it not happening. Sometimes we just have to accept things as they are, sometimes we just have to trust we will understand it later. But we don’t have to view our past with regret if we trust it’s for the greater good.