Sunday, October 11, 2015

Paths Never Taken

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Periods of time marked by a Mercury retrograde phase have a way of introducing us to elements of our earlier life histories that we may have (erroneously) concluded we had long since put behind us. I was reminded of this tonight when I went out to a local bar that I have previously frequented in the time I have lived in the Twin Cities.

I have lived in Minnesota for three years now. The evolution of my life has been decidedly non-linear throughout these last three years. When I arrived in October three years ago I never would have imagined the quality of my life was still being so significantly undermined by the legacy of the trauma I had experienced some thirty years prior to that time. I thought I had successfully worked through the pain and trauma I had endured as a kid. The year 2013 came along and instructed me otherwise. Over two years have passed since that eventful warm season of 2013. I feel like a new person now. I still feel grief that the life-transforming change of EMDR therapy did not find its way into my life earlier. But I am grateful it found all.

While spending time with some friends tonight I found myself reminded of my life of years ago. I saw the man I briefly dated when I first moved to the Twin Cities three years ago. He still has a certain aura of unhealed trauma about him. This is not surprising considering the fact that he is a veteran of the Iraq war. I saw other familiar faces as well. Many people I might expect to see were not in attendance; I assume many of them were away at the Iowa Leather weekend in Des Moines.

My awareness of the life paths I could have taken (but chose not to) was only further reinforced by my online encounter of a man whom I first corresponded with three years ago when I still lived in the Washington DC area. As sometimes has happened before I found myself feeling my mind full of unrealized future life scenarios that never came to be. What if I had stayed in the Washington, DC area and remained steadfast in my determination to forge a career in the federal government? What if I had not immediately left Monterey, California over four years ago in search of something bigger and better in the Pacific Northwest? What if I had chosen differently on a number of occasions?

Even after taking a journey marked by such extensive therapy it can still be a bit too easy for me to fall into the pattern of reflecting on all the possibilities that might have opened to me if I had only...fill in the blank. If only I had been more patient. If only the trauma of my life history had not still been undermining the quality of my life as recently as three years ago. If only I had met certain people at slightly different times in my own life timeline. Perhaps the whole timeline of my personal evolution would have turned out differently. Perhaps I would be a much better person today. Perhaps I would be healthier, wealthier and more settled. But then again perhaps everything unfolded in the best possible manner for my highest good. Maybe that is actually the "correct" perspective to maintain about the evolution of my life.

I do know that time feels more precious to me than ever before. I am aware that we don't always get second chances. In fact it seems to me that second chances might actually be quite rare.

Use your time and energy wisely. Make time for those who make time for you.

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