Visits from My Old Self
It happens more than I care to admit. Something new happens and instead of responding with my new, more evolved me, I respond with an older, out of date version of myself. I react, instead of respond.
I do not believe that these visits from the former me's is ever going to stop. But that doesn’t mean that I am not somewhat bummed when I revert to a person that I am not really practicing being anymore.
What is interesting is that today I can see that the old me making a new appearance in today’s life doesn’t always mean that I have screwed it up. The old me sometimes shows up in the backdrop and tries to influence the current me into going back in time and conjuring up scenes from the past. What is really different is that the new me doesn’t really fall for it so much anymore...
The newer, nascent me is captured by the old me's tales and complaints but the newer version of myself seems to have the ability to just pause and listen and then say things like
“Well, thank you for sharing” or
“Hmmmm, that is a very interesting thought...”
I am not carried away by the older version of myself taking up space and time, demanding attention and the substitution of an old behavior instead of a newer more evolved one. I am somehow able to listen to this former me and hear her but then make a decision about my own current conduct that is more in line with who I am today and who I want to be tomorrow. Fascinating!
What I am realizing is that my former self was very, very, very involved in ego crap. I seemed to always be carried away by the machinations of ego and all its manifestations. I don’t mean to say that that can’t happen today...just that it is less likely than it has ever been and that is pretty fucking amazing.
All of the recent visits of past versions of myself are helpful. They confirm for me that I am much happier who I am today than any version I have been in the past. And so I know, definitively that I mustn’t return or succumb to my old ways lest I slip back into a being that no longer fits or is comfortable to show up for life in.
I love my life today. I have worked hard to get here and the level of inner peace and comfort is its own reward. I used to kind of live in fear that some former version of me would overtake me and spin me out and away. But today, it appears, that these visits from any version of who I used to be, just help cement that I have no interest in returning to whoever I was previously. I am evolving, daily. And I like the results.
It is really a gift when you get to a place in your life when old issues and versions of yourself show up in a seductive way and entice you to falter on your newer course or trajectory. And I am learning to receive the gifts as a more deserving person than I have ever been. I do not feel desperate or undeserving today. I really believe that my own opinion of me is the most important one to hold. Of all the very many witnesses to hold in my life, mine is the most important. And I cannot hold a good opinion of myself while acting out in ways that are shitty, ego based or although well tried, always and forever lead to failure and self hatred.
I am not the best nor am I the worst. What is a great new feeling is that I am proud of the changes I have made while also being kind and caring to the fucked up person I used to be. I don’t have to shame or guilt her, she has had quite enough of that already. Today I can just be at peace with the knowledge that sometimes I am going to be amazing and other times a shitshow...and that is just ok. Welcome to being human.
The best thing about being revisited with older versions of myself is the opportunity for humor they provide. An older me has been whispering in my ear a lot recently and I have to say, she says some really funny shit. Funny, but not productive to the me I am trying to be today. So her thoughts, ideas and schemes have to be left to a past that I walked out and away from. And today I can see that as an opportunity to really practice being the me that I respect, admire and love...even when I am tempted to act out in ways and manners that I have already tried a million times. Today I can be tempted but still pause. And that is nothing less than a fucking miracle.