Monday, September 9, 2013

Who is that woman in the mirror? Reflecting....

The other evening I was putzing around the house straightening up before bed. I like getting up to a clean house, so I go around the house in the evening and clean up the days mess, load the dishwasher if there is anything to load, etc. I was at my entrance table putting things away (it seems to be the place where things get dumped) when I glanced up.
I have a mirror there. Its about 6 foot high by 4 foot wide (hung vertically instead of the usual horizontal view). Its huge and extremely heavy. It belonged to my mom. I can remember it from my childhood back at least 30 some odd years ago. It was much bigger then and I had it resized years ago. Something I regret now. ;) My mom gave it to me long ago and I had it framed and its beautiful.
The light was dim, with only my Scentsy warmer burning on the table under the mirror, so there was a glow in the mirror with soft lighting flowing from it and bouncing off the sides, reflecting back and forth off itself. My front door behind me was open and although it was night time, some light was also coming through the door behind me. It made the mirror look even more beautiful. It was like the illusion of looking into water with only moonlight shining down on you. The tree leaves blowing in the breeze outside reflected through the door and made the light move. -Kind of surreal.
The odd thing is the reflection I saw.....
Now I don't know why I saw it this way -but I did. I saw myself minus about 20 some odd years. Now don't laugh, cuz I'm serious. It was weird. I stood there and just looked at myself in awe. The funny thing is that normally I would just look and say "Dang girl this is good lighting- you need to walk around in this lighting all the time!" and laugh it off. But it was truly different. Words really can't explain to you how mesmerizing it was. It wasn't JUST good lighting. It was like God opened a window from my past and gave me a moment in time to look at the younger version of myself. Not for vanity purposes, but for revelation. WOW.... It passed in a short moment. I almost questioned whether I saw what I did. I still question it. Did I really just see that? But that's me. I am the doubting Thomas. I alway question little gifts I know in my heart are given me by God. Just to be sure. :) But it has really made me ponder a lot the past few days.
So let me preface this by saying, one of my pet peeves in when I hear someone say they have no regrets in life. They'll say...."Oh I've lived a good life, I have no regrets and nothing I would change. Everything in my life has made me the person I am today". Well hooray for you!!!!! But I'm gonna through the BS flag on that. Flat out. Bogus. Now hear me when I say this. I am a happy person. I have joy in my life and I also enjoy my life. And yes I am happy where my life is now and I know my choices, good and bad led me to where I am. But no regrets? Seriously? I believe if you have no regrets then you have lived a very safe and sheltered life. I didn't. I lived a very dysfunctional life and made many many wrong choices. I have sooooooooooooo many regrets. I made lots of mistakes in my life. I made some really bad choices. I won't go into all the details because I am not here to beat myself up.
And let me say, that I know the mistakes I made have been confessed to the only person who can give me absolution. God Himself. I am forgiven and covered by the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. So to continue to beat myself up for the same mistakes over and over, would be to continually crucify Him. That is not what I am doing. I am not wallowing in unforgiveness, I am just remembering and regreting some choices. I believe that is how you learn from them.
I have regrets. I hurt people, I made choices in life that caused others heartache and pain, that was not necessary. And those choices caused a rippling effect that hurt even more. My choices changed the lives of some people. Drastically. So while I am happy where I am at - I sure do regret those I hurt in the process to get here. Those whose lives I changed forever. It doesn't mean I'm not happy or that I would change my life now. It simply means I regret some of the choices I made along the way to get here. The path we take can have all kinds of detours in the road. I believe I could have gotten where I am today with choices that didn't hurt others so much along the way. Those are my regrets.
So I stood and I looked at the reflection and couldn't help but want to say some things to that younger version of me looking back. I wanted to shout them to her. Oh how I wish we could really do that. I would tell her to slow down! Life isn't a race. There's no finish line to cross. I would tell her that old cliché to take time to smell the flowers. I would tell her take more pictures of everyone and everything. Including herself! Stop worrying how you look in them. You were gorgeous girl! lol... take more pictures of you and your friends. Some of them are gone now and you don't have any. Sit down and play with the kids more. I mean really sit and play. Live in the moment. Forget the housework. Because they are grown now and you are gonna miss them. Even though they are still close by - the little "them" is gone forever. I would tell her; Don't buy into the lie that kids are resilient and bounce back easily. They are fragile gifts from God and they remember the hurts of their childhood more than you realize. Don't fight with your spouse in front of them. And for Gods sake, do everything you possibly can by the power of God to make you marriage work so they can have that future you both had intended. Mine didn't. We didn't fight hard enough. I am happily remarried now and I have made peace with that but it is true.
I would tell that younger version, to rethink some of the more selfish decisions she made in life that hurt others. Just because you want something or someone that does not mean you have the right to it. I would tell her about boundaries. And respecting others. I would tell her to stop thinking she isn't good enough for more. More of everything! I would tell her to finish college. Travel more. Volunteer more. Don't take that job opportunity! Yeah you know the one. It was the stepping stone to hell! I would say put a few pounds on that skinny anorexic frame of yours- that way when ya get older and it happens, you won't be so shocked! lol... Enjoy the laughter of those girls constantly in your home, enjoy your home being the hub of teenage chaos, because that one precious sweet girl is gone now. She's in heaven. -Way to heartbrakingly soon. Get in touch with your dad sooner too. Forgive. Reconcile. He's gone now too. And you are left with unsaid words. Pray more. Love more. Give more. Seek God more. Rest more. Rest more in the presence of God. Believe in miracles. You will see them one day.
I would tell her to look forward more to getting old. I would say "Guess what?! You have grandbabies coming! Yes, grandbabies!! Lots of them and they are amazing!" You have no idea how much you will love them. Its a second chance at loving little ones without screwing them up! lol...
And above all....the most important thing I would tell her........WRITE IT DOWN!!! Journal your life. Journal, journal, journal!!! Because as much as you think it's a moment you will never forget - you really do forget!
But I think that younger version would have a few things to say too. Like lighten up. You did the best you could with what you knew. You were a pretty good mom. You certainly loved them every step of the way and were always there for them. Your house was always full. Yeah, you made some sucky choices, huh? What in the world were you thinking with that one?!. But you sure did learn from them the hard way. And you paid the price for some too. And yeah you hurt some people. But you helped some too. Don't forget that. You were a good friend to some. You certainly loved A LOT!! You sure did end up in a pretty nice place You met and remarried a good man and have a good husband. (and managed to stay friends with your ex. lol) You have great kids and stepkids and a good life. You live in a beautiful oceanside city. You have good friends. A wonderful church family. And you continue to walk out your relationship with God. You are still doing the best you can with what you know. And guess what? That's ok. That's just you. And God still loves you.

And I think she'd release me from some the guilt of the hurt I caused others. Some things you can't make amends for, some things you can't give can only ask for forgiveness and learn from them and move forward. So no regrets? BS. I have many, but I just try to not live in them. And she'd say...And did you mention, grand babies??? What????????? I'll never be that old! Oh yeah, and by the way God still loves you, and you are the apple of His eye, a child of the Most High, a daughter of the King of Kings, so move on. And by the way, you still look pretty good for an old broad. :)

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