I recently explored the idea of digging deeper into a life-changing decision I made in my past. Not that there’s just one, there are certainly plenty throughout my life. There are events where one might wonder, “What was I thinking?” or reminisce, “Imagine if I had chosen a different college?” or, “How would my life be different if I had said no?” I imagine many of us can relate to a time in our life when we made a decision that altered the direction of our life. This likely happened more than once and with varying degrees of life-changing affects.
I wondered what it would be like to embrace those moments now, with the compassion and wisdom of a more experienced heart, in order to better understand the emotional place of those decisions.
So I explored this idea further, motivated at first by a common teenage experience (I fell in love), which led to a deeply wounding (spontaneous) decision I made years later as a result of that teenage decision. Using journal prompts and SoulCollage® I learned much about myself, but what I found most powerful was that I recognized my current self. Let me explain…
I didn’t look back and see a girl or a young woman I didn’t recognize, which I half expected (because I’m supposed to have grown and changed so much!). I saw me, struggling through growth and unrecognized fear. I saw in these decisions the best in me and the not so savvy. This was a woman I could still relate to 30-40 years later. But now I’m empowered with the deep lessons of experience and the wisdom that follows. I felt more compassion towards myself. And I recognized a pattern woven through each big decision up to my current life: decisions I made for others (out of fear), and decisions I made for myself (no fear).
This was an emotional journey, yet so incredibly insightful at the same time. I’d like to share the two cards I made that afternoon and a little of what these neters shared.
Push and Pull
I am one who is part of your decision making process, those big ones. I am one who will push you to speak your truth when you are pulled by others’ opinions or when you pretend you don’t care what happens. I am one who will push you to speak your truth when you feel bound to go with the flow because you are worried about upsetting/hurting/losing someone else. I am one who will push you to speak your truth when you are so afraid that you try to avoid the responsibility of making decisions that affect your life.
I am the one that is holding the mirror up to your fear. I am the one who has a powerful shadow side you try to bury. I am the one you allowed to go against your nature. I am the one you willingly gave up the promise of children for. I am your biggest lesson. I am the one you almost honored. I am the one where fear masqueraded as love. I am the one you dodged.
These cards revealed parts of me that I rarely, if ever truthfully spoke about (willingly). Now they have a voice and I was even a little nervous to include the second, “Untitled” one into my deck, but of course it’s in there. At this point it’s one of my more “shadowy” cards and I’m sure it will continue to provide powerful guidance.
Have you had a similar experience using your cards to bring more understanding to decisions from your past? What did you discover?