I am thinking today about looking back.
If you were to ask me about my views on looking back, my stock answer was always this: There is absolutely no purpose in looking behind you unless what you look at propels you forward. And I do believe that’s true, but my stock answer may be in the process of revision.
There have been circumstances in my history where I experienced an earthquake, of sorts. And tremors long past the event. I’m rather astonished at the number of “earthquakes” I have actually survived. Sometimes it’s pretty overwhelming.
Amazingly, I survived those disasters without personally collapsing. The ability to delay an emotional reaction and to compartmentalize issues I thought was reserved for men, but it turns out that I was wrong. I could do those things. And I did it rather instinctually.
With a lot of work in the last few years, what I have discovered is the value in the experience. The experience of loss as it happens. Real time, so to speak.
It isn’t just ok to cry and feel, it’s necessary.
Feeling is part of the human experience. Tears are a gift from God. Hard to value in the actual moment of pain, but a gift still.
Tears release fenced-in emotion. Tears are the vehicle to let go of control and validate loss. Tears cry out to a God who sees all. The past and the present, intertwined to forge our future. And tears are acceptance of a life experience I may not have wanted, but with faith know will result in my good and God’s glory.
Looking back….God’s hand was part of it all. Gazing back there, I wish I had been more willing. Delaying emotion only increased my pain.
So my definition is the same, but has new wisdom.. Looking back, for me, brings me to be more present in the moment.
If I cry today, thankfulness will be part of it. Mercy bend and breathe me back to life…