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“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”   Eleanor Roosevelt

If I could turn back time…. How many times have ‘we’ thought that? What would we have done differently? What decisions we made, often in haste, sometimes after much thought, would we change if we had the chance to “turn back time”? What other things would we have changed if we had that chance to “turn back time”?

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I have often wondered how many people could say that everything they had said and done, they had gotten right the first time round. That there was absolutely nothing in their life which could not have been done better, if only they had known then what they know now, if they could turn back time. Of course, we all know that this is part of learning and if we had the gift of future knowledge when we were going through life then we might not learn the things we could.

Yet does that mean that there is no value in knowing beforehand that the important choices we are about to make would be better if we did things differently? We would still have the free will to decide to go ahead with our original plan or make a change to improve the outcome. Would we, in actual fact, be better off if we could “turn back time”?

Turn Back Time

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“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”    Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

I have not had the pleasure of meeting anyone who has been able to say that every decision they have made, or everything they have done, has turned out right for them the first time round. Perhaps as importantly, that what they have done has turned out well for those affected by that decision. Would that make a difference in choosing which path to take?  Most would say they could have done better, and as Cher said in the song “If I could turn back time”, she’d “take back those words that hurt you”. The ending to that line could be different for many.

The song also says, “Pride’s like a knife, it can cut deep inside, Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes.” How often have the things we have said to someone in the heat of the moment been regretted almost immediately? I realise that the converse is true also, sometimes hard things need to be said for the canker which builds up to be freed so that healing can commence. Yet there are usually better ways to reach the same end, the right end without creating all the hurt and bitterness which harsh words create.

Turn Back Time

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“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.”    Albert Einstein

After several nights of extremely vivid dreams I decided I needed to start recording them whilst they were still fresh in my memory. That they are still as fresh as when I woke means that they may be important, so my intuition tells me. I found myself going through some old journals. Like most people I have had some intensely beautiful times and some I would prefer to forget. Reading through then made me realise that I could have done things very differently. “If I could turn back time” I most definitely would and I began to wonder what my life might look like if I had made different decisions based on what I know now.

Would it have been so easy to leave England when I did? I mourned leaving a land I loved and my Grandfather, but there was nothing else I was leaving behind, my alleged friends had seen to that earlier.  Would I have married when I did? A harder question, but it is unlikely. If my time in the police department had continued it would have become a career which would have been difficult to leave.  So, if I could turn back time many things would have been different.

Turn Back Time

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“Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.”   Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown’s Little Book of Wisdom

That being the case I would not have had to go through an unpleasant divorce or then remarry, a decision which was taken in haste and repented in leisure. The irony in this scenario is that if I hadn’t remarried I would not have been in the two car accidents which have caused me so much grief. If I hadn’t decided to shelve my business to look after my mother when she became ill would my husband have stayed or would he have gone?  If I could turn back time I could have avoided being in that situation altogether.

Cher’s song has many parallels, “My world was shattered, I was torn apart, like someone took a knife and drove it deep in my heart”.  This was definitely the feelings when my mother passed away, and grief can take a long time to heal, especially when you are trying to find your way alone. “If I could turn back time” I would change that, most definitely.

However, the next stanza says, “When you walked out that door I swore that I didn’t care but I lost everything darling then and there”. For me this was as far from true as it could be. I was neither sorry nor wrong and I fortunately didn’t need foresight to tell me that, the immediate past has taught me that much.

If I had a crystal ball to tell me what I have learnt from my life then yes, I would certainly have made different decisions at times, said and done different things. However, that’s no guarantee that I would have ended up where I am now.  I believe I am here to learn. I believe I am a spiritual being in a human body and this life on earth is my schoolroom. I am here to learn and if the lessons I chose to learn are not learnt the way I had originally chosen to learn them, then they would have recurred in a different way, and who is to say it would have been easier of harder? I don’t have the answer to that.

Turn Back Time

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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”   Eleanor Roosevelt

The fact is, having the ability to ‘turn back time’ may sound like a great gift, the solution to every mistake we make, but it may also be the slippery slope to a worse mess than we could have imagined. If we change one small thing in the past how many ripples will it create in the future, and how many lives will it change as a result of one small change?

Despite the many challenges I have, the things I wish I could have done differently, I would not go back now and change anything because, in the final analysis, I would not be the person I am today. With all my faults and imperfections, I think I might be better as I am than anything I might wish I was. So, no, if I could ‘turn back time’ I don’t believe I would. I would rather have my life now and my wonderful husband. So, all the possible mistakes have been worthwhile since they led me to this point in time.

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”    Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

We learn from our past and practice this in the present so that we have perfected it for our future. From there it all makes perfect sense and I don’t need to “turn back time.”

Blessings and know we are all loved and supported through life.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Where to from here? It’s a question everyone will ask themselves many times over the course of their lifetime. Today it seems like a simple question and yet it is also confusing.  I started out on one path, wanting to get my thoughts, ideas, feelings into words, not only for myself but hopefully, finding that they resonate for someone else also.  I believe at times we all strive to make that connection with someone else.

Then, quite suddenly I found myself writing a poem. There was no conscious decision to do so, but from there they seemed to flow. It’s an interesting change, to suddenly find oneself in a totally different place from where one began. I am able to truly be ‘in the moment’ as I write either poetry or prose, I am deeply grateful. They form a small, but essential escape and one I will continue to  explore.

If my head stays on for the night, and my trips to the bathroom decrease, I will try to write a story tomorrow, but  that is in the lap of the Gods. At present things are hanging by a thread – just like my climber.

 

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