This time of year, a lot of us are spending time with people we see rarely and interact with poorly. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting awfully tired of hearing aunts and uncles and cousins remark on how grown up I am. I’m 30, fer crying out loud. I’m grown. Give it up!
I’m also getting tired of people assuming I’m exactly the same as I was when I was 10. I’ve come a long way in the past 20 years, and even further in the past 12 months, so not only does this assumption make their view of me completely inaccurate, it’s also offensive to me because it so heavily implies stagnation. I know you haven’t done any self work in the past decade, Aunt Melda, but I do it all the time, so stop assuming I’m still into Fruit Loops and footie pj’s!
In this situation, I’ve found that it’s really important to start over from where you are now. I think a lot of us have this desire to go back to the way things were, but it’s not helpful and often makes those sticky assumptions even sticker.
If you start over, you get to be who you are now, not who you were then (whenever then is for you). And who you are now is strictly better than who you were – because it’s you. Right now.
This is true for relationships as well as family. If you and your lover have a huge fight and things change, wishing you could go back isn’t going to help. It’s harmful, in fact, because it blinds you to the reality of how things are now, and now is all we’ve got. If you don’t like now, then the best thing to do is change your now. However, focusing on the way things were is natural and not wrong. It’s okay to feel however you feel whenever you feel it.
So if (or when) you find yourself in a situation that’s causing you to wish things could return to a previous way, think on it. Spend some time with those feelings, see what you’re missing, and see if you can find a way to have that now. Start over with all the knowledge and experience you hold within yourself now – what an awesome advantage.