As I look at the people around me to grant their wishes, I need to know where they have been and what stories they are telling themselves to know how and even whether to grant their wishes.
We don’t realize that we change, and in some cases, we’ve made big changes, but we don’t notice the progress we are making because we are not where we want to be. It’s hard to know how far you have come on the interstate when there are miles and miles of landscape between you and your destination. Much of it looks the same, unless you take the time to reflect on where you were six months, a year, a decade ago, and see where you are now.
If you think that you should return to the weight you were at 22, think about what you were doing at 22 and think about how much of that you want to do now. I don’t want to go back to walking everywhere I go, and only going to class. But I’m sure I’d be thinner if I walked that much and had to stretch 100 of grocery money to last a month.
What do I have now that I didn’t have then…a reliable car, a house, a computer, a smart phone…car payments, mortgage, phone bills, internet service, a yard to maintain…there are tradeoffs.
Reflection is not just looking back, because the winds of time distort the images, but looking in the mirror to see who is looking back at you.It’s a hard discipline, but learning to smile at the person in the mirror is a lot healthier than frowning and making that person wrong.
I’ve collected a lot of experiences, some story-worthy and some just mundane, but each one has made me who I am through the choices I made and continue to make.
What are the stories you tell yourself about your past. What if you considered those stories all lies, and started looking at them from a different angle?
You might find that the party never ended, and while the road goes on forever, you took the best side trips and found the places the tourists never went. You might find that what you left behind gave you the freedom and courage to go on, and that what you have carried with you may not be supporting your dreams.
May you see clearly in your own reflection, for you are the fairest in the land, in your own landscape of life.