Yesterday was a very significant day for my husband. It’s the birth date of his brother who died at 42 in 2000.
It is significant not because they were very close and best friends. In fact, after a childhood and young years of conflict, they’d just started repairing their relationship; talking occasionally; being able to hang out or have dinner together without fighting.
That was probably the worst of it, because there are no words as bitter in the world as “it might have been.”
Dan wrote about it here.
I have friends going through other types of life transitions right now, some good, some not and I myself have been going through something I might some day be able to talk about in public (it does not involve family in any way, certainly not divorce. But it involves other people even though it’s central to MY identity/life, so I can’t talk about it, not yet. Maybe some day) which is a transition, a loss, a gain and a sort of “it might have been.” (But isn’t, and never will be and it’s time to let it go.)
We were talking in this blog about predestination, free choice and the things humans choose to do or not to do, and how free they might be or not. As you know, I believe in individual freedom.
I was thinking of that because of what Dan said, in his post, that given an infinite possibility of universes there is some place where his brother turned sixty yesterday, and maybe we flew out for the party, because they’ve become best friends. Weirdly, if he’d lived that’s not even a strange outcome. It was sort of going that way, despite their starting out very antagonistic and being very different people.
Of course I don’t know if there are multiple universes. It’s an interesting thought to play with. Perhaps the whole reeincarnation thing is a misunderstanding and we actually live multiple lives concurrently, all of them as us, and are then weighed on the balance of those lives.
Of maybe none of this makes any sense, since we’re talking in a human language about things beyond time and space.
What came to me, though, is that yeah, your choices might be narrower as you live. Or not. Sure, reverting the choices and bad habits of a lifetime might be near-impossible. BUT not impossible because you’re human, and humans can can change.
We’re like a piece of pottery that gets used and used and thins out or loses glaze or even gets broken. After some time, there’s only so much you can do with it.
Or you can use kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing those cracks and hurts, owning them and making something beautiful out of them.
You can’t unlive your past, but you can integrate your broken bits into a new and wonderful whole.
There is no human who lived who didn’t make mistakes, doesn’t have regrets and isn’t broken. It’s part of your history. But it doesn’t dictate your future.
Accept it, integrate it, and be who you really want to be.
You’re broken. So what? It’s the breakage that makes you you. Fix it to make it better than it was. And live on.
Let go of hate, resentment and regret. Build. We’ll get there.