What do you wish you could change?
We’re living in an unprecedented moment of possibility, not only in this country, in the world. We are living in a time when we are being urged to stay in our homes in order to protect our physical health from a pandemic and being urged to take to the streets to put an end to the system that has protected the perpetrators of systemic racism and violence against Black people. It is, in short, a reckoning.
One definition of reckoning is: the action or process of calculating or estimating something. Some of us do this; have a moment or many moments of reckoning every day, although it may not seem as monumental as what we’re confronting now. And yet, when we spend our time wishing things had been different it stalls our progress, it holds us back, it keeps us stuck.
If you are dwelling on a choice you made then that you regret now, be honest with yourself – are you stuck? Is it holding you in the past rather than allowing you to live fully in the present? And perhaps most importantly – are you not moving forward because you don’t trust yourself to make choices for your future?
Do you want to create a change in your relationships or in yourself, and you don’t know how to start? Please schedule a time for us to speak. https://lenaecoachsession.as.me/
What do you think ought to have been different?
I’m originally from New York, and after my mother passed away my dad moved out to the west coast, not very far from where I was living. We saw each other regularly. When he first moved here he was fit, very able to walk or take the bus to wherever he wanted to go and he spent his days exploring. When he became ill he was admitted into the hospital, and after a few weeks was sent to a rehabilitation center.
This wasn’t the first time I’d sat with him in the emergency room for hours. I saw him every day in the hospital, sometimes only for an hour, sometimes for 2. I saw him every day in the rehab facility, again, sometimes only for an hour. I had the feeling that it was going to be a long haul and I intended to be there every day, so I figured out how and when I could do it and still maintain the activities I was obligated to perform – among them was working a job so I could support myself. There were days I spent more time in traffic than I did with him, but I told myself at least I’d been there.
The doctors told me he wouldn’t be able to go back to his own apartment. I automatically asked him if he wanted us to live together and he said yes. So I started to look for a new, larger place and figure out how to merge our two households. After only a few days I realized this was not the right answer. He needed a level of care I was not able to provide and the case worker agreed with me. She gave me a list of nursing facilities that she thought would be a good fit for him, and I started to visit them.
Then it felt like this wasn’t the right answer either. I was thoroughly conflicted, and yet I knew the day would come when my dad would be released from this center and he’d need a place to land. And it felt like my job to provide that for him.
He never asked me about the plans for our moving in together. I tried to talk to him about other facilities and he wasn’t interested in hearing about that. He was acting more and more unsettled, so I just kept visiting places and talking to professionals and keeping up the commitment I’d made to myself to be there every day. Not all day, but at least some part of every day.
Shortly after that, after about 6 weeks in total in the rehab center, I got a call in the middle of the night that my dad had passed away in his sleep.
What do you really believe?
That was 13 years ago last week and there are moments I still relive it. What if I hadn’t offered to have us live together without thinking it all the way through first? What if I had found a lovely facility and moved him into it quicker? What if he’d been sent to a different rehab center with different doctors (i.e. different advice) in the first place? Would he have been happier? Would he have been more willing to participate in conversations about his care?
Honestly, what I’m really asking myself is – if I’d done something different would my dad have passed away when he did? Because that’s the ultimate thing, right? Would he have lived longer, would he still be with us now even, if anything had been different then?
Here’s something I’ve realized over time; as humans we spend a lot of time looking both forward and back. We stand in this present moment and look back on a choice that we made and believe with absolute certainty that if we’d only made the other choice everything would have been better. We made the wrong choice and the other choice would have been the right one!
Or, we stand in this present moment faced with a choice we have to make for our future and can only see what’s wrong with either option. We can’t find an upside to either one. And so we do nothing, because for some reason we don’t understand that not choosing is a choice.
How come the crystal ball tells us the past could have been good but the future can’t possibly be? I can’t know that. Dwelling on it doesn’t help me live in the present, and it certainly doesn’t help me move forward and live my life fully into the future. And dwelling on whatever your thing is isn’t helping you move forward either.
I am certified as both a Life and Weight Coach and I will gladly share with you all that I have been taught, and have experienced and created in my own life transformation.
If you want to stop dwelling on something from your past so you can start living your life and you don’t know how to start, please schedule a time for us to speak. https://lenaecoachsession.as.me/