“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana
The previous post is merely about taking stock of life, thus far. Taking stock of decisions made consciously, deliberately and often foolishly. Why?
An effort, however pitiable, to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
I had an incident recently with a woman in my Real Life. I know her marginally well and I often disagree with her. Now, I admire her strength, intelligence and faith and would like to be closer friends with her. Why would I want to be friends with someone I disagree with? Because I will never grow surrounded only by people who think like myself and who aren’t strong enough to challenge me.
But I digress… When her behavior crossed a line and she chose to act in a manner which I found offensive, I had a choice. In the past, I have glossed over this type of thing, chosen to ignore and in the end lost the friendship because I couldn’t reconcile being close to a person who would treat me badly without a) realizing they did or b) working to make it right.
However, this time I took the risk and communicated not only what her behavior meant to me, but how I would like to be treated in the future in order for our friendship to continue.
And after several emails and a phone call, we are now stronger friends than before.
Why? Because I valued her more than my own safety and I opted to work, encourage and even exhort her in order to further a person I found worth investing in.
In the past I would have discarded and walked away. If someone wants to treat me that way (based solely on my perspective) then they aren’t worth my time, we don’t obviously have a “mutual attraction”, etc.
I looked back and saw friends I had lost. So this time I made a different choice.
I learned. I took, for me, the road less traveled. In this scenario, I was blessed to have a positive outcome. The real challenge will be when I choose to make a different decision than the one made before and the outcome is not positive, is destructive and ends badly for everyone.
Then? I have to trust I thoughtfully, faithfully, sincerely made a decision and the outcome, which can never be predicted, was just What It Was. Sometimes you have to live with the bad stuff.
That boy? Had I behaved differently with him I would not have met the Mr. I would not have valued him or what he offered/offers me in the way I do. I learned the consequence of not valuing a life and heart offered. In a sense, That Boy prepared me for the wife I would become. At a personal cost to both of us.
That job, that town, that church… They all work together to prepare us for the moment we find ourselves in now. But unless we can look back as objectively and honestly as we are able we will never learn the more subtle lessons G-d was weaving into the fabric of our souls all along.
We are in constant limbo. A stride half-started forward and a stride half-finished behind. It takes faith to keep walking forward and it is difficult to launch if you are not certain of your previous step.
But somehow, we keep walking. Until we need to be carried.