“I don’t have to like the actions of others in order to love my journey.”
– Today’s card
Over the weekend I heard an interesting thought experiment about the weight of our pasts. It went something like—
Imagine that when you woke up this morning, you’d lost all memories of your past. You don’t remember anything about who you used to be or what you were like before today. No memories of the experiences you’ve lived or the people you’ve known. You wake up and who you are right now is all you have to go off of in terms of determining your identity.
How would that make you feel?
When I think about this, there is an unexpected sense of relief and freedom from the would-should-could’s that tie to my mind and spirit from the days gone by.
As I deal with the sudden abrupt change to my identity after my health trauma these last few years, points of comparison have sprung up in nearly every corner of my life. Whether it’s thinking about how I used to move physically, or how I used to react to certain situations, my life has become a perpetual play of that game we used to play in kindergarten of “Spot the difference between these two pictures!”
So the idea of not being obligated to stay connected to who I used to be does free my mind. I can breathe a little easier not having to explain or justify the way I am to the people and voices of the past who haunt my present.
Who you are now and in this present moment, even after you’ve figured out how you got here, is all that should matter for the decisions we make for tomorrow. I don’t owe my past self anything but respect, love, and gratitude.
I’ll probably take more time this week to think about this concept. To maybe pause once in a while and ask if I would be making the same choice or feeling the same emotion if I didn’t have memories of my past self.
Sometimes our past protects us. But it doesn’t distinguish wisely from the ways and times to protect us. That’s the part I’m still trying to figure out.