This is part twelve of a thirty day trial, during which I am writing and publishing a post every day. No refunds. Comments welcome and encouraged!
I don’t know if it’s mostly a product of aging more fully into adulthood, or of the last few years of therapy and self-improvement, or both these things — but I’ve noticed life has been…”cycling back” lately.
Old memories pop up, sometimes from a new angle, or with some shadows filled in by new sources of light. Hobbies I let go of years ago have re-entered my life. I can see specific pieces of my past with more clarity.
Beyond that, I can allow pieces of the past to rise up into the present, for reflection and perhaps re-appreciation.
I’m not attempting to re-live anything. It feels more like I had (perhaps understandably) been pushing several facets of myself away, and keeping them back and out of sight, because I couldn’t yet face them. Now, though, I have neither the desire or energy to do that.
If or when we claim to view authenticity as an ultimate goal, however elusive it might be, however impossible to identify and bottle as a permanent power source — as I have nonetheless done, and continue to try to do — we necessarily commit ourselves to a process of reconciliation.
If the past drags us, we must ask why. Once we begin to learn why, it follows that it further helps to communicate, negotiate with our past, so that we might find some semblance of peace, and balance.
So life goes, I think.
It’s a never-ending, imperfect process. But time continues in spite of any thrashing or argument on our part. We remain at once fragile and imperious regardless of what has happened before or might happen again.
As a default, generally, we remain driven by the past and by our fears and dreams for the future. If or when we allow ourselves to focus instead on the time between (the present), however, and instead let past and future considerations come to us (and then pass us by, until their next time up in the rotation), I think a process is initiated that fosters clarity and growth.
By that I mean that I think I’m gaining new views of how my life used to be, or of parts of me that still exist beneath the detritus of a recent stretch of difficult years, because I’ve stopped retreating — for the most part — into the “safety” of the pain and the fear and the confusion.
In doing so, I have noticed, with some surprise, that it wasn’t necessarily anything I or others had intentionally done, that created the conditions which led to either my prior half-sightedness or even my pain.
Like perhaps just about anyone else, no matter how well we might initially handle it or cope, or how we might eventually change — for a long time I was as afraid of light as I was of shadow.
Now, though, I can walk forward, a little at a time. I can turn, when ready, and look at where I have come from utilizing a different perspective, in a new light borrowed or discovered.
And the beautiful part of all this is that the cycling back neither ends nor lasts forever, as I had feared it might before I got here.
I can visit who I used to be, and recognize some of who I still am and some of who I no longer want to be, and then I can turn back around and journey with that knowledge to the unknowable future.
This behavior, in turn, creates new paths that I can come back to again later, in similar fashion. So the journey continues, never-ending but also never ceasing to bring new information, appreciation, or even joy.
Perhaps I am getting better at dreaming awake, after all.
Day 04: Circle Up and Laugh
Day 05: On The Future of Labor
Day 07: The Word for World is Earth
Day 11: Tragedy, Remembrance and Wonder