Our Narratives

I’m sure you’ve all heard that question asking what you would tell your younger self if you could go back in time. The assumption being that you are older and wiser and able to give that younger self advice.

The thing is, even if something like that was possible, that younger self probably wouldn’t believe you. Think about it. Whatever was going on in that younger life was real and true and certain at that point in time. I doubt your older self would have been able to convince the younger self that the narrative they held was false.

But for the sake of discussion, what if you did listen? What is the one thing that you have never been able to let go? The one thing that you have always been hard on yourself about, that, even now, you still listen to, and believe, those old refrains? And what is the one thing someone could have told you, that you would have made you listen? Is there anything that could have been said, or done, that would have allowed you to let go?

More importantly, if you can think of one thing that might have made a difference, that you might have listened to back then, why don’t you listen to it now? After all, you’re older and wiser, right?

If my older self went back in time and told my younger self that cruel and unkind words were simply someone else’s insecurities and not my truth, I certainly wouldn’t believe that. Those spoken words were my truth and in many ways still are.

Which makes me wonder why we hang on to false narratives, so strongly that they are true narratives. What do they give us that make us cling to them? What would we have to change or give up, if the narratives were proven false? Conversely, what would it change if we found out those narratives were actually true? Would we still be able to let go of them?

So many questions.

What would I tell my younger self, you ask?

That fear was the underlying cause of all those words, and my god, just go out and life your life in spite of them.

Would I have believed that advice, you ask?

Oh heck, of course not.