“It’s called way-finding, princess. It’s not just sails and knots. It’s seeing where you’re going in your mind, and knowing where you are by knowing where you’ve been.” – Māui, Moana
“…knowing where you are by knowing where you’ve been.” A beautiful line that caught my attention while watching Moana (Yes! Finally I have seen it!)
For years, I have kept detailed journals that analyzed every incident or person that frustrated me. I wanted to know the answer to the ultimate question, “who am I?”
“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
– Lewis Carroll
It wasn’t until I reread them last year, however, that the understanding of where I’ve been versus where I was currently and was headed came with any enlightenment. Sometimes, we need to have the visual set before us to understand the enormity of our life choices or indecisiveness to see the change, stagnation, or cyclical repetitiveness.
There is this idea that who we were as a child, a teen, or a young adult is who we are for the rest of our earthly lives. Though we may maintain our original characteristics or personality, we should be developing and ever evolving. Instead of changing, like Madonna who either follows the changing times or creates them, we have the tendency to be mindful of rocking the boat. Every time we make an adjustment in our lives, family or friends pipe up and put us back in our place, don’t they? That makes some of us end up with secretive lives – hiding all the “negatives” or weird stuff about ourselves from our loved ones.
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to come out of the proverbial closet and speak our truth.
Currently, I work with someone who has the worst self-esteem and sense of worth that I’ve ever met. He talks of the past – all that he had accomplished, of who he was. With the present he claims he’s sunk low and yet he makes sure to tell everyone how great he is at everything, not understanding how deceptively inaccurate that is. When we live in the past, we stay in the past. This reminds me of a moment in Gone with the Wind, when Ashley speaks of the Götterdämerung, or “a dusk of the gods.” Essentially, it implies the downfall of all that which is glorified, usually referring to a society. It is the glitter and gold we encase our perceived past gloriousness within. It’s like when some of us tell stories, the truth, after each telling, gets lost in all the “improvements” and tall tales that make the story so much more interesting. That 10 pound fish becomes the 50 pound fish idea. When we speak of our glory days in comparison to our present, because of having embellished so much with all that glitter and gold, we take no pleasure or give compassion to our present selves.
“Knowing where you’ve been” doesn’t imply to glorify it, but, if anything, it is to release it.
Most of us, too, have the tendency to remain stuck because we have the idea that we are responsible for others abilities to handle the changes we make. In other words: we wait for them to have the acceptance before we actually make any changes. And, during that time, we become resentful of them. Hmm…
If we choose to live in the past or wait for others to catch up, we’ll never find our way. Our past can be used as a guide – what not to do, what worked well, what choices made us feel good and which ones did not – but should never be used as as a tool for boosting the ego. The ego loves its own miraculous self but is lacking in actual self-worth. It only understands itself in comparison to others and only in terms of material success – financial, looks, clothes, property, etc. It’s mere facade, and not why we are here in this life. The past is a learning tool, and if we aren’t learning from it, we’re never going to feel like we’re as amazing as we are, in the present.
Leaps of faith take courage, sometimes with small steps, sometimes with huge ones. Neither the past nor others can define us, only we can define who we are in each little moment. Choose life, instead of allowing life to choose you.
Something to try…
Choose Your Own Adventure:
When we’ve been allowing life to choose us, instead of the other way around, that’s when we become extremely indecisive. We become frozen in our decision making, even with the smaller decisions many times. A great way to kick start this is the Choose Your Own Adventure Method. Whenever you have a decision to make, but can’t figure you which way to go, brainstorm all the possible decisions you could make and write them down on slips of paper. Feel free to get input from other people of what they would do also. Throw those slips of paper into a jar. Close your eyes and randomly pull one out. Whatever choice you have pulled out, you must do, even if it’s stupid. Do this with your days off and a have a bit of fun with it. During the time you are allowing the randomness of choice selection, you will be honing your understanding of what feels right or wrong to who you are. This will help with navigating your emotional soul body into making soulful intuitive choices eventually that will not need the input from any other source but your own keen sense of understanding.