“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far”
~ Irish Blessing
Ah yes, all those times we should have shut our mouths and actually listened to what was being said to us. With an open mind. Either by others or our own internal narrators. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Hindsight, that’s the crux. Learning after mistakes rather than in lieu of them. Hindsight that could have easily been foresight but for the lack of insight. If we even learned something from them…
My mom rocks. Sure you guys hear me say that a lot, but you need to understand just how serious I am. Those that have met her will agree 100%. Those that haven’t should be jealous. She’s full of hindsight that can be turned into insight, and yes, foresight. And after one particularly important phone call last spring I went and found this image. And then summer happened and life got insane and I forgot all about it until today.
The thing with hindsight is that it comes with an evil step-sister, fear. Fear is a funny thing. Hindsight makes you feel silly. Fear makes you pause. Keeps you from moving. It holds you in its clutches and preys on your worry to do exactly as it wants: nothing. Hindsight and fear work in tandem to pick scabs rather than letting things scar over.
Fear never met my mom.
During that phone call last spring, I requested she be a friend, rather than a mom, and had one of those really serious adult conversations we have with our parents as we age—you know, like the one where you realize you didn’t know everything, they weren’t stupid, and you are compelled to apologize… sometimes through laughter, sometimes tears. As is true of the wisest woman I know, she was dead-on accurate with both her assessment and advice. And I’m old enough and wise enough myself, to listen to advice when I hear it. One particular gem from that day is this week’s garage talk: Forgive yourself.
She told me to forgive any and all guilt associated with anything in the past that I didn’t actually have control over. To let it go. To clear the blackboard of misplaced blame and be able to move forward. It wasn’t about forgiving those who had wronged me, but forgiving myself for being naive, for listening, for believing, for falling for whatever I should have been wise enough to see for what it was. I listened. I heard her. I nodded, though she couldn’t see me. And when I hung up I sat quietly and contemplated what exactly she meant and how to put it into effect. Hindsight. That’s what it boiled down to. Accepting hindsight and moving forward with it tied up in a pretty little bow, a Bitter Box™ of sorts. A lesson learned. A hindsight to be used as foresight for future situations that may be similar.
For garage talk this week there is no question. I want no stories or tall tales, no tears or anger. I don’t want to know what you chose, only that you chose. Nothing beyond that silent nod I won’t see. This week, I want you all to forgive yourself for some 20/20 hindsight mistake.
Get your coffee. Go sit on the stoop, porch, couch, wherever, and think of one thing from your past that that holds you, but has no business doing so. Forgive something you feel guilty or stupid about, something that shouldn’t be a scab from but a well-healed scar. Something unhealthy to your psyche, to your chi. Perhaps that one thing that is forever a trigger of anger or anguish. It’s in the past. Let it be the past. Allow yourself to have been wronged or a victim or just plain naive about something. Forgive yourself for whatever it was and your part in it.
And then move forward…