People always say you should be someone your past self would be proud of I see the dark eyes of the girl I used to be and wonder what she would think of me I have to smile because she would not be proud the person I am and aspire to fully embody will never be someone the teenage me admires her fearful heart is too tight to hold space for this form She would think that I'm weak and foolish for giving up on all the things she always thought we needed to be happy and being happy anyway She would cringe and moan about my smiling open heart pouring over her although she would still approve of my all black attire She would have never wanted this simple contentment I've found the surrender that saved me is her failure another indomitable spirit crushed by time And I hope this trend continues that who I am today would not even be able to grasp my future self in her magnificent, frightening expansion I want to look back in ten years and know that I have let go of the illusions I am still chasing after in my ignorance in favor of something real and inconceivable Then again maybe it was never our teenage selves we were trying to impress those moody, jaded, muddled versions of us that were impossible to deal with Each year I am peeling back layers reconnecting with the blissful, grateful innocence of the small child that had been slowly covered up full of love and curiosity and wonder Now she would be proud of me I can feel the look of awe upon her face as she looks up at me across the span of time eyes lit up by a joyous smile I think growing up is not linear phases of gathering knowledge and growth are paired with the careful work of returning to the pure, effervescent essence we've always had
Focusing on the past and trying to make sense of my previous mistakes and experiences used to be a much bigger part of my mental landscape. I think when I was younger it was easier to line things up in a neat and orderly manner in order to create a story that made sense and gave me a sense of direction. Eventually it seemed like I had created so many memories, lived through so many years, met and lost so many people that I started to lose the plot. There no longer seemed to be a way to make all these seemingly random pieces fit together.
One of the good things about shifting my focus away from the past is that I don’t ever dwell on regrets. Someone asked me the other day what one of my biggest regrets was, and it honestly took me a long time to even come up with any. I’ve certainly made a lot of egregious mistakes throughout my time on this earth, but do I really regret those mistakes? I don’t know. I do regret the way I’ve treated a lot of people in my life. But even then, that’s more because of the way it affected them, not how it’s affected me. Although I feel guilty for being so cruel and selfish when I was younger, I never would have learned what I know now or become the person I am today if I hadn’t behaved that way in the past.
For instance, one of my biggest regrets is probably the way I treated my mother during my late teens. Part of me does wonder how I might be different if I had been willing to accept her support and love during some of my darkest, loneliest times. Still I think I wouldn’t have the perspective to appreciate her the way I do now if I hadn’t rejected and hated her all those years ago. Despite my coldness, I was able to feel just how much she loved me. Even when I basically threw her love away each time, she continued to offer it to me at every opportunity. She never returned my disdain or cruelty. She never left or gave up on me. Because of that time in my life, I now cherish her more than I think I ever could have otherwise. One of my biggest regrets still led to the discovery of truly unconditional love and the unwavering support of a mother for her child. And understanding just how lucky I am to have that.
Lately I have been feeling completely stuck and without direction in life. I keep struggling to move past this uncomfortable stagnation. At the same time I just can’t seem to envision how or when this feeling will change. Looking back at the past, particularly our own mistakes, can be painful, but there is a value to exploring our own story every now and then. There is a lot that we can learn from piecing together the seemingly disconnected parts of our colorful pasts. One of those things is refilling our faith that things might not make sense right now, but one day they will.
No matter how badly we might feel we have failed, or how irredeemable our actions may seem in the moment, you can never be sure the future benefits, knowledge, and value we may gain from them in the future. Just because we can’t see it right now, can’t even conceive how that could be possible, we can at least acknowledge that it’s happened in the past. By reflecting back we can recognize how some of our darkest moments eventually, without our conscious awareness, transformed into some of our greatest strengths, our deepest insights, our most valuable lessons.
Even though things have been confusing, difficult, and unsettling for me for what seems like ages now, it won’t feel like this forever. One of the scariest things is the feeling that I’m wasting time, years of my life, of my youth. But our time can never truly be wasted. No matter what we are doing, whether we want to be, or believe we are, we are always growing, learning, and changing. This time is not being wasted, despite how it feels. Periods of stagnation can just as easily be viewed as periods of incubation. This perspective might not make it go any faster, but it does make it just a little bit easier to keep going, even when you don’t know where you’re going or when it feels like you’re actually going no where at all. One day it’ll all make sense again. You’ll be able to look back and see that it was all necessary, that it was all worth it. An egg just looks like an egg from the moment it’s laid to the moment it hatches. Just because we might not be able to see or understand what’s developing within, doesn’t mean that tomorrow won’t be the day it’s finally revealed.
Empty spaces are uncomfortable we fidget and fret to find a fast fill consumed by constant consumption Holding space seems impossible but we need room to breath room to expand room for change room for transformation Standing in that emptiness is the only way forward otherwise opportunity will continue to pass us by as we have no where for it to reside