Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talking to myself in the past and future

Today's prompt by Corbett Barr asks "What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?" I've always ducked the latter part of such questions, not being a person with conviction and courage to plan for and execute something in the future. And I would look back on the younger self with regret and shame, how I must have disappointed him. In one way, as many say, there is only now. In another, that now includes for me everything and everywhere I've been, whether I am conscious of it or not. This is still the same body even as cells have died off and been replaced, especially with fat cells. Faulkner is quoted as saying "The past isn't dead. It's not even past." I also think of the Book of Laughter and Forgetting, which states "The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone," and goes on to say the subject really wanted to change the past. How many times have I either automatically or deliberately changed outcomes in my mind, like I were writing fan fiction. At the same time, the future is already here, moment by moment, faster than I can comprehend, days have gone by. This year is almost half gone by.

Where was I five years ago? Not in a good place, work wise, financially, personally, many struggles with family members, and I was very sick and not seeking any kind of solution. I had to take steps to make changes but I could not do that without help and five years ago I was unwilling to accept help. I was so withdrawn and so inept I didn't even know how to talk and I am still learning how. What would I say to the person of five years ago that I am still carrying with me? Accept help, as hard as that is, as obdurate as you are. Acknowledge your pain and the pain you are spreading around. Take responsibility. And it will work out in one way or another, you will not come to harm, have a nickels' worth of trust. However, I doubt that the person I was could hear it or take action, something else had to happen, I had to be backed into a corner.

What would I say to the person five years ahead? Don't forget. Change does not happen overnight. Remember what changed for me, acknowledge those who help me, and keep doing what works, every day and try to incorporate something new that will help. Visit friends and relations, be grateful, acknowledge the spiritual forces which made you, stop, work hard, make decisions, do the next thing requiring to be done. The lesson I learned: "Let me do it now for I may not pass this way again." Someone else described procrastination as disrespect for the future, and I've certainly created more problems for the person down the road doing this.

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