Backwards Wishing

3005147-poster-1960-caught-stress-spiral-innovate-your-day-8-minutes-ready-set-pauseYou’ll know that you are no longer self-righteous the day you drop the romantic notion that if only your seventh grade teacher could see you now, she would be proud of you. Say goodbye to her. You don’t need her approval anymore. From now on, you are on your own.

Last night after patiently pondering those words from “The Art of Imperfection” by Veronique Vienne, a light went off in my head. Well, it was actually more of a long sigh of relief after a small cleansing epiphany that is now with me to stay.

First, I agreed there are a couple of teachers I have wished could see me now. That admission was quickly followed with a mental list of former lovers, classmates, past co-workers, lost friends, departed family and such, who at one time or another, I have “wished could see me now”. The realization alone that I could let go of that sort of “backwards wishing” lightened the emotional baggage I tote around by at least a few pounds.

I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance. From West with the Night” by Beryl Markham

Beginning to let go of “wishing they could see me now” is a healthy step toward letting go “backwards thinking” of other types such as “wish she was still in love with me” or “wish I hadn’t made that mistake”. Loosening my tight grip on this sort of emotional debris has begun to let me see what is underneath them. I am discovering hiding behind my ‘wishing’ is always either shame or regret. Those parasites start to fade a little when I face their roots head on. Knowing what I know now, there is no turning back. I am grateful for my adjusted perspective that will make it so.

Take it from me:
If you hear the past speaking to you,
feel it tugging up your back
and running its fingers up your spine,
the best thing to do.
the only thing, is run.
Lauren Oliver