Did anybody ever accuse you of “living in the past”? I ask because maybe you also have the
gift okay, sometimes curse, of expansive recall and I was curious as to whether it’s caused you to be the target of that demeaning 4 word allegation due to what I have come to acknowledge as a misunderstanding of our gift by others. Oh, if only I had a dollar for every time my gifts are misunderstood by others. 😉 But I digress… I did not come to that acknowledgement overnight. At first it just pissed me off and I’d assume the accuser was just ignorant. Which, let’s face it, maybe they were. But that’s on them. It’s not my place to acknowledge and address what I determine to be shortcomings in others. As I’m reminded of time and time again, if my hands aren’t full enough addressing my own deficiencies and oversights, I’m probably not seeking them. Ouch. Hence the willingness to get uncomfortable that is mandatory to our journey. Pain! Yeah! Bring it!! NOTE* Appropriating this attitude may often require going into Fake It TYFI mode. Rarely do I find myself there without GETTING myself there. I need to build it. Hold up a second. I just got a tap on the shoulder from the universe:
“Remember to keep the main thing the MAIN thing.”-Brendon Burchard
I struggle with that. There’s SO much good stuff to cover! But we’ll get there…
It was 10 or 11 years and many beers ago (okay, I don’t actually think I’d had many beers that night, but I’ve noticed that since I no longer drink alcohol, I tend to overemphasize the drinking that I did in my past and presume I was always drinking, which I was not, but due to my tendency to see things as “all or nothing” I have a habit of taking things too far. Which is absolutely another area I’d like to touch on, but dammit Brendon- yes, I’m getting back to the topic…) I was out with a friend group that I’d known since elementary school at one of our local small town bars. At the time, I saw this group at least once a month. Another friend of ours whom we didn’t see often (we’ll call him Visiting Friend) was visiting from out of state and at some point I told some funny memory from our shared past and Friend #1 said to Visiting Friend as though I wasn’t even there, “Lisa always likes to stay in the past and we’re like, Lisa please- would you just stay in the present?!” At first I was shocked that she’d say that because I will tell you honestly none of them (we were a group of 4) EVER said that to me. Then I was embarrassed because if there was one thing I didn’t want it was for VF to think I was some sort of pathetic has-been who lived in the past. For pissake, as far as I was concerned, I was still in the hasn’t-been-yet stage and was looking forward to the time when things in my life were really going to start cooking. If there’s one thing you should know about me it’s that regardless of how great things may have been in the past, I ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS, think something even better is right around the corner. So I was pissed. I countered with a remark about how reliving old memories was not living in the past and excused myself for the bathroom, probably doing a shot on the way to downshift myself enough not to feel like smacking her. These days I know that doing pushups will bring me the same calm without abusing myself in the process, but I wasn’t yet aware of that then, so bring on the whiskey!
Your memories serve a purpose and recalling them is not the same as dwelling in them. They may sometimes be as insignificant as a laugh, or a cry, or just a reminder of what doesn’t need repeating. But they also allow you to venture carefully into past pain and disappointment and view yourself from a variety of angles, truthfully acknowledging aspects of yourself that you may have been unwilling or unable to acknowledge back when they occurred. Doing so empowers you by encouraging you to SEE yourself. What was, what is, and in doing so lay claim to your desires in what will be, with the full confidence that you HAVE that power. Indeed, when it comes to your life, you’re the ONLY one who does.
These days if I recall the scene at the bar (OMG- there’s the title of my future autobiography: The Scene At The Bar (and how I got there): the story of Lisa A Holmberg) I can look past my own insecurities and defensiveness and see why Friend #1 threw what I felt was shade on me. Not surprisingly, it had nothing to do with me. Had I known that then I wouldn’t have needed that shot, and more importantly I would have understood that she was looking for something- something I’d have been happy to encourage her toward if i’d realized it then. But I didn’t. Which is why I needed to recall it. Because I get it now. And next time around, I’ll get it sooner.