“There are many parts of my youth I’m not proud of. There were loose threads, untidy parts of me that I would like to remove.
But when I pulled on one of those threads, it unraveled the tapestry of my life.”
This was a line from Captain Picard on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This episode was very much like “It’s a Wonderful Life” where Picard can see what his life would be like if he made a different decision in his youth. But what he found was that despite his bad decision, several things happened in his life wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t make that decision. In fact, the very essence of who he was had changed when he changed that one decision.
This episode strikes a chord in my heart, because there was a time in my life where I really struggled with decisions I made (or didn’t make) in my past. I dwelled on these things and it became an unhealthy.
Part of it was because in a very short time once in college, I really changed as a person (read: grew up!) and all I really wanted was to go back with the new found attitude on life that I had. But as things started happening in life, GREAT THINGS, the more I started to see that if I done things differently earlier in my life, these great things, these great people I was meeting, might not have ever happened.
In fact, if I had done things differently when I was younger I wouldn’t even be the same person. Which is scary, because I like the person I’ve become and despite some decisions I wish I did or didn’t make in my past, I wouldn’t change any of it because the person who I’ve become because of those decisions is much more important than some thing I wish I had done.
BJ Neblett famously said, “We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.”
I find peace in that quote. I find peace in that because no matter what I do, I will learn and grow from my experiences and try use that to help others grow from their experiences as well. We are giving one life to live, we shouldn’t waste it wishing we had done something different.