(Note: I wrote this blog entry earlier today and clicked the Publish button only to find later that what I wrote had not been published…yep, gone. So I apologize in advance if this second effort is not as good as the first… but then again, I guess you will never know 😉 )
Have you ever found yourself remembering something or someone from your past and wondered ‘What if I had done something different?’ or ‘How would my life be different if I had chosen a different path?’. I think that most people have probably spent some time pondering this…I know I have. Part of this for me, I guess, is that I am a bit of a perfectionist. I often wonder if I could have done things better. For example, I could tell you the word I mispronounced in grade school to keep from getting a perfect score on a particular vocabulary test. This is really random and not important but it shows how the mind can dwell on things that we have done in the past that might be troubling. We are usually our own worst critics. The thing that we don’t consider is… Whatever we have done in the past was a result of the information we had at the time, the circumstances, or because we had an intuition or a gut feeling that was compelling enough to prompt a particular decision. People say that hindsight is 20/20 but I don’t believe that. I believe that we do our best with what we have. We make decisions and choose our directions in life in the moment. Information we get later only really helps us to second guess ourselves.
If I look back upon my life I sometimes wonder ‘what if?’… For example…What if I had not had a strong dislike for the football coach at my high school? I may have played the sport that most people have told me I was best suited for…I may have been good at it…I may have been good enough to play college ball…In doing so, I would have gone to a completely different university…my life may have been completely different. When I ponder this, I consider that if I played football I would not have learned the game of basketball from one of the greatest men I have ever met. I would not have learned many of the life lessons that I learned during that time. I probably would not have gone on to discover the game of rugby and I would not have made the numerous great relationships with so many diverse people around the world. All in all, hindsight or not, I like my choice.
This works for relationships too. It is easy to think about people in my life that I have cared about and had feelings for and wonder what a serious relationship with that person would have looked like. All I have to do is take my daughter’s hand in mine and look at her face to know that, once again, I made the perfect choice.
Sometimes if we take the time to be still…to listen…to contemplate…to open our awareness, the universe and our higher power provides us with glimpses. These glimpses show us that we really are exactly where we are supposed to be at this very moment in our life. The path we have taken and the decisions that we have made have led us here, making us the people we have become along the way. I have said before, and strongly believe that ‘Life is a Journey and not a Destination’. If this were not true, what would happen when we reached our destination in life?
Stories are only compelling when the protagonist faces obstacles or struggles. It is how these struggles are addressed that adds depth to the character and allows us to experience their joys and sorrows and identify with their humanity. It would be a pretty boring story if we were introduced to a one-dimensional character who quickly realized a destination without undertaking the journey. The reality is….the paths we have taken in our past have gotten us to where we are right now…it is up to us to continue the journey…to learn something along the way… and to make our own story compelling. If we don’t, we may just find ourselves in the future wondering… ‘What if…?’
(not sure I like it as much as the first one… but hopefully it works 🙂 )