The other day I was reading a book which posed the question: If you could go back into the past and change one thing, what would it be? My immediate answer, before I had time to even think about it, was, “I would change nothing.”
While it would have been nice to avoid the turmoil of the last several years, I honestly believe that what I gained from that trauma is greater than what I lost.
Here is a short list of the gifts I received:
- I discovered my voice, and learned to raise it even under censor
- I decided what I will allow into my life and what I will never again tolerate
- I learned to shift out of worry and fear, and live in the present moment
- I developed a closer bond with my children
- I learned to address, rather than avoid, those things that brought me discomfort
- My priorities came into sharp focus
- I learned that I could fight for what I believed in, and do so successfully
- I gained a solid sense of confidence
- I developed a strong sense of mission and purpose
- I now know what it feels like to stand in my power
These are not small things. They are huge. I am not the person I was three years ago, and I would not want to go back to being that person.
Had you asked me two years ago, would I like to undo any of it, I would have said "Yes!" Screamed it, in fact.
However, I don’t believe I would have gained so much, so quickly, were it not for the trauma. Intense discomfort is a powerful motivator for change. I’m not sure that motivation would have otherwise existed.
When I think back to who I was three years ago – how I spoke, the way I held myself, the internal talk in my head, how I avoided conflict, my knee-jerk reaction to agree with anyone/everyone, that feeling of being all twisted up inside -- all of that has been transformed. It’s amazing to me, really.
I’m not saying I’ve reached some personal development acme (far from it). It’s just that the amount of change in the past three years has been monumental, the equivalent of what I might otherwise have gained in twenty years, perhaps. And for that, I am immensely grateful.
I feel like I now have a blank slate before me, and that is exciting. It is at times scary and unnerving, but it is also so full of potential. I feel as if I am now, finally, at a point where I can truly realize the full extent of that potential. I find that tremendously exciting.
So, no, I wouldn’t change any of it. It was all exactly as it needed to be.