Thursday, September 9, 2010

Looking backwards

This week I looked back and reviewed the effects of one relationship in my life.  After the discussion, KavinCoach asked me if I felt better.  I didn't know at the time he asked.  Later, I realized, I did. (Earlier blog) 

 Looking backwards doesn't always have this effect.  I know in myself, and I observed in others, that sometimes looking backwards has the same effect as a hamster on a cage wheel.  I exerted a lot of energy and got nowhere.  (If you haven't owned a hamster, gerbil or mouse, do an image search of hamsters on wheels.  There are quite a few images of humans on wheels too.  So my idea is not original.)  Sometimes going back over my past not only had me running in place.  Sometimes it turned into a downward spiral.  So why was this week different?

Hamster Wheel thinking usually has words like, "What if...", "My life would be different if...", "If I had only known..." I started to see a pattern that revolved around IF.  A few years ago, I put myself on a downward spiral about all these IFs and blamed God for not interfering and rescuing me sooner.  I spiraled so far down that I refused to celebrate Christmas.  I didn't trim a tree, sing a carol, or participate in any events that celebrated Christ's birth.  I was angry and I was going to bah humbug my way through Christmas.  Like the story of the Grinch, Christmas happened any way.  (Yes, I am having a blast mixing metaphors and stories.) KavinCoach taught me that there are NO IFs about my past.  What happened was carved in stone.  There was no Edit>Undo.  No do overs. No rewriting history to suit myself and what I wanted.  He challenged me, "Could I accept my story exactly as it was written?" KavinCoach was not referring to my present or future.  This was a question about my past.  

Could I accept my own past? Before counseling, I had no problem accepting my past.  I also didn't remember 99% of it before high school. I listened to KavinCoach and pondered ideas.  What would it take for me to accept my own past?  How did I need to alter my perspective to look at my past with out thinking about IF? KavinCoach suggested I consider tapestry rugs.  On the loom, if you look at them from the reverse side they look terrible with threads ending and beginning with no apparent beauty or pattern.  Some how I found that visual lacking.  My past was done.  Completed.  I can't go back and change any of it.  I pondered the rug itself.  

Was mine just shrouded in darkness?

 Or was I so focused on the dark parts I didn't see any light?

Was I willing to look at the whole of my past and recognize that the beauty of tapestry is in the contrast between the dark and the light yarns?  All light yarn would not have the richness and beauty of the darks and lights together.  I am still working on the concept. 

Why was this week different?  When I reviewed this one relationship. It was like following a single thread that wove its way through my life.  I accepted the place this thread had in my past.  Only I could decide where that thread goes next.  The past I can not change.  It is finished.  


Kathy said...

Randomly saw this after I read your post and I had to come back and share it: "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung

Ruth said...

That will be a later post on - I am not defined by my past. I choose today who I will be.