Yesterday I was speaking with a good friend who is going through a tough patch. In the process of our conversation, I happened to have some time to reflect on my life with her and talk about some of my tough patches and how I got through them and the end result.
Now, I am not a big fan of dwelling on the past. You can't drive a car while staring out the rearview mirror. You'll drive off course and possibly wreck everything. The same can be said for life in general. If you spend too much time looking backwards, you'll miss all the sights you're passing right now. You may also go off-course or wreck the good things happening currently.
I say all this to note that yesterday was a good thing. We've had some big hits lately and I've been caught in the obstacle course and worried about the boulders I see on our immediate horizon. It was good to take a look at the road already traveled to see how far I've come.
More like a pit stop than a detour or distraction, but a purposeful review and assessment of the lessons learned along the way.
Sometimes, I guess, it's good to pull over and look at where you came from to get some perspective on where you're going. It's also refreshing to take experiences that were once negative or painful and find a positive use for them. Taking those moments and helping someone else feel a little less lost or alone; being able to give examples of choices made and the results; or just saying, "Hey, I've been there - and I know there is nothing I can do but I can listen. Sometimes someone to listen is what you need at times like these."
Each situation in life is unique. When something happens that brings negativity into our lives, we often ask, "Why?" And even when there is no logical reason or the answer never presents itself at the moment, when you take those times (not too many!) to pull over and look back for a brief time - it becomes obvious.
We are all parts of a greater "machine" that works hand in hand. Just as our actions have consequences that ripple out, even when we don't see the reactions, our life experiences affect the world around us by being a piece of the puzzle.
And in the end, "This too shall pass" is pretty accurate. What you take from it - now that's the part that is everchanging.