Posts Tagged ‘Starting Over’
I was driving home the other day and met an L plated learner driver coming towards me, as we drew closer, I could see the young lad’s level of intent concentration to stay on his side of the unmarked narrow country road.
My memory was sparked of my own driving lessons when I was 17. I was speaking to my sister about it and she reminded me that in fact we were very lucky as we’d been driving for years around the fields, parallel parking from age 12 against hay bales. Our driving instructor was there to iron out the bad habits we’d already formed and introduce us to real traffic.
Learning not to cross our hands on the steering wheel, not to cut corners to save the rubber on the tyres, remembering to indicate, not double d clutching, and being aware of road users was an eye opener!
My first driving lesson was in Edinburgh, I was taken along Princes Street at 5pm – there were buses and cars everywhere, then we headed up Lothian Road and I had to do a hill start – there was very little I could find similar to driving in the hayfield!
Anyway of course the point here isn’t really about driving is it … it’s about the bad habits we pick up when we’re not taught how to do things by those who are trained to teach! There was an article in the Daily Mail which stated that parents often teach their offspring their own bad driving habits. I would venture that as children, we pick up more than our parents driving habits!
Not only do we connect to our parents bad habits, but those of accepted societal norms, those of our peers, our work colleagues, our friends and religious habits too.
Very rarely do we take the opportunity to stop and question what we are doing and whether it serves us well or not.
You too might find that you could improve more than your driving if you asked for a guide trained to iron out lifes little wrinkles.
Isn’t there a song which says ‘I wish I knew then what I know now’? This week my very good friend and colleague Tom Evans (@thebookwright) has tweeted his book One Hundred Years of Ermintrude.
It really is an extraordinary book, simple and yet profound. You can read it in next to no time, yet your feelings about it are still reeling hours, days, weeks and even months after.
The story is written in reverse – it is the story of a lady called Ermintrude who is 100 and she looks back over her life at the high and low points and many others in between.
When I’m working with clients who are unable to see past their current situation, I often ask them to imagine looking back on it as if they were now 80 years old and finding out what the older person in their future advises them to do. We can do this flip flopping about in time quite easily really, it just takes a bit of willingness to play.
You can use time travel in all sorts of other ways to create a different result. By that I mean it won’t actually alter what happened, but it can alter the feelings you have about it. Imagine if you were able to send back messages to the younger you so that they would know that all would be fine, perhaps you could even give the younger person some courage, some love and some resources to help them through.
Can you imagine just how helpful living your life backwards would be. Tom says something about living our lives backwards and experiencing them forwards – I’m picking up what he’s putting down, are you?
I was watching ‘Man in the Wilderness’ with Richard Harris this afternoon – after splinting a little snow hare’s broken leg (instead of eating it) he then read this bit out of the bible (Job 14: 7-9)
A tree hath hope: if it be cut, it groweth green again, and the boughs thereof sprout.
If its root be old in the earth, and its stock be dead in the dust:
At the scent of water, it shall spring, and bring forth leaves, as when it was first planted.
Instead of trusting that there was a reason we fight against whatever it was and seek to explain the logic of it. There is very little logic in many things and the only logical way to deal with it is to accept the fact that it just is.
The only job you have to do is learn what part you had to play in the situation. It might have been a thought, a belief, an action – it could be that you needed to learn a lesson.
It will never be someone else’s fault. That doesn’t mean that you are to blame, but it does mean you have to take responsibility.
Things happen to us when we are children and don’t know any better. This can have an effect on our lives – how we cope, how we survive, how we love. As children we don’t have the languaging skills of an adult, we don’t have the mental, emotional or physical capacities of an adult.
As children we are pretty defenceless. Frightening as it is, I believe that we come into this world with an in-built ability to cope with whatever is given to us.
At some point in our adult lives we will have the opportunity to put our childhood experiences behind us by being able to look at them through adult eyes and gain a different perspective. That, together with a willingness to forgive, a willingness to learn what you didn’t know then and the willingness to let go of your past hurt allows you to start to blossom and grow new branches, new shoots, new leaves and live a new life.
What have you learned from this post?