I am going to give you two examples of how perspective (in this case, the perspective of time) can be both a blessing and a curse.
The first example is weight. Have you ever looked back at old pictures from your 20’s or 30’s and remembered, somewhat astonishingly, that in those photos, at that time, you thought that you were fat and wanted to change your body and weight so badly? When the reality of the situation was that you actually weren’t “fat”, and your obsession with your weight was what stopped you from participating in so much life?
The second is children. Have you ever thought of a particular age or stage to be particularly difficult, and that you just had to ‘hunker down’ until it passed? Until the next one came? And then the reality of this proved to be that you spent so much time wishing for the time to move on quickly. Which it did.
Perspective shines light upon these things; helps us see the reality of situations. I wasn’t fat. I didn’t need to obsess. I was too busy comparing myself to others. How silly was I to have wasted so much precious time. I didn’t need to hope for an age or stage to pass, because parenting is just challenging, period. I am lucky to be experiencing it all, and I love my child deeply.
So the part of perspective that is a blessing is the part that allows me to see this truth now, with hopefully a lot of life left within me. The part that is a curse is the part where I realize the incredible waste: wasted memories, wasted years, wasted concerns on people who never mattered, and wasted opportunities to live my life and be in the moment.
But, being the eternal optimist that I am, and realizing that there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about the past, I choose to move forward with this knowledge and do my best to consistently be present, accept myself as I am today and yet still strive to fulfill the many goals I have yet to achieve. That’s all we really can do.
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