If you could say something to your younger self would you?
The most recent prompt to this post was an article I read on venture magazine all about how your life makes sense in hindsight….something I have always agreed with! They beautifully compared it to a tapestry….in the moment, the present, when everything that’s bad is current and happening all around you, all you see is the tangled mess of threads that make up the back of the tapestry. But in the future you have the ability to turn it over and marvel at just how well the threads blended and were woven together, all those choices you thought were bad, all those mistakes you made well actually they all were woven in and made something truly beautiful.
They made you.
Recently me and others have found ourselves returning to the same point of conversation, just how much can change in a year. How we can grow, (in height for some!) in maturity and have experiences we never dreamed would happen to us, some good some bad (this past year it being us all getting seemingly very grownup Jobs and learning to drive!). A lot of the time I think it can leave us feeling bewildered…..looking at the seemingly un-connected sects of our lives and wondering just how an earth we got here….or where we go from it. To make it personal…..a year ago Debbie never dreamed she would be saying goodbye to her wonderful brother and so in turn none of us on the team thought we would be just that, a team working together for a charity set up in his memory. Time can slip by before you know it months separate you from significant events, and you can suddenly feel isolated…..these events helped shape you yet now they seem so far away and how an earth did you get to this place anyway.
I choose to say look at the tapestry of your own life.
To use another mental image (this time of a jelly mould) , a lot of the time we don’t feel ready, for up-coming change, and we feel as if were in a jelly mould its safe and comfortable and we’ve moulded to the edges and made ourselves a comfortable little place to solidify and fix ourselves but then we find ourselves being pushed out! Panic strikes us as we think surely we aren’t ready surely if we get pushed out of this mould right no we’ll crumble and just become dissipated blobs! Then we get pushed out, and mysteriously, miraculously we stay in tact we retain the shape that the mould taught us, trained us, helped us to become.
In the present the future ahead can look daunting….you think you have it all sorted, yet at the same time you see challenges and task beyond your reach.
In the near future you look back at your past with dissatisfaction perhaps, recognising that yes perhaps you were ready but with confusion at why certain things worked out that way …..the way you didn’t want them too.
It’s only in the long term future we can truly step back a step and put yourself in the hindsight we can see that actually that huge challenge you felt almost broke you? It taught you strength. That huge mistake you thought you made? It wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t a derail completely of your life’s off course, it was a detour, and it was a detour you were supposed to take. In hindsight you can see that actually everything came together beautifully and though you hated it when people told you at the time….everything did happen for a reason.
And its this…. its hindsight that almost makes me want to write to my past self (if such a thing was possible!) to say to her listen to your friends when they say stick it out! Don’t get disheartened when you don’t get the grades the first time round! BUT because I now have the great all seeing all knowing (ok maybe I’m exaggerating here a little bit) power of hindsight. I can see that I needed to struggle to teach me how to fight and get back on my feet, I needed to taste the bitter taste of failure to make sure I was determined to never let that happen again.
What does the great power of hindsight help you see?
Or….have you realised you are not yet in that place….. but you can see that you’ll get there and someday everything will make sense…..