The Recovering Farmer

Monday, November 22, 2021

An Epiphany

 I had an epiphany this week. It happens and sometimes they actually make sense. Other times, not so much. Hear me out.

I often allude to how much time I spend ruminating about the past. And I do. That just simply has become part of my journey. Normally I combat that by forcing myself to go to my happy place, if one is available. But there are times when I just let it wash over me. Seems I get too tired of fighting.

There I was lying in bed thinking about something that happened in 1996. At least I think it was 1996 and, quite frankly, the year doesn’t matter but I have been told I need to add more details to my stories. So I am going with 1996. There, I got so wrapped up in details, I forgot what I was ruminating about.

Sorry, I digress. As I was lying there thinking about whatever I was thinking about and getting more upset by the minute, I had an out of body experience. (No, I was not on a drug induced trip) I found myself looking down on myself and seeing an old, grey haired man getting upset about something that happened 25 years ago. And the person getting upset, that would be me, wasn’t the old guy in bed but rather was someone 25 years younger.

That struck me. So I thought about other instances where I have become upset about the past. The person who got upset about the bully in high school wasn’t the old me, it was the 16 year old version of me. The person that got upset with a banker wasn’t the old me, it was the 40 year old me. The person getting upset with my wife (which clearly doesn’t happen) wasn’t the old me, it was the 49 year old me. I could provide countless other examples but won’t.

Before I go any further, because I can already hear some people screaming that I have clearly never been traumatized and have no understanding of what they have gone through. You’re probably right. I do understand that people experience significant trauma that an out of body experience will not fix. And, to be honest, there are a few “events” that I have experienced that I probably need to deal with as they do still cause consternation.

What struck me as I floated there looking down on the old me, or perhaps I had re-entered my body by then, was that the old guy lying there wasn’t upset about these things anymore. I clearly needed to change my perspective and leave those things in the past. When I started thinking about things that had upset me as the old me in the last week or month my list was quite short and certainly not ruminatable. (That’s not a word but I will use it anyway)

What happens when I ruminate about the past? Resentment is quick to pay a visit. I start having regrets. I get angry. And what does that accomplish? Nothing positive. It sucks the energy right out of me. It makes it difficult to function.

As I was mulling this over, it occurred to me that most of the people I get angry about, the old me and the young me, probably have no idea. In essence they are controlling my mind, my feelings and my emotions. Just another reason I need to let go and gain back control of my own mind. It will make for a happier old me.

Scars tell us where we have been but should not dictate where we are going. If I focus on that perhaps I can avoid future out of body experiences. Although, when I think back, it was a learning experience. Make it a good one.

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