Monday, October 9, 2017

Dear Younger Me

While waiting at a seniors home I noticed a copy of Our Daily Bread a daily devotional they used to distribute through the United Church. One heading caught my eye: If I Knew Then... "On the way to work, I listened to the song 'Dear Younger Me,' which asks: If you could go back, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self? As I listened, I thought about the bits of wisdom I might give my younger, less-wise self. Most of us have thought about how we might do things differently—if only we could do it all over again. But the song illustrates that even though we have regrets from our past, all our experiences have shaped who we are."

The song the devotional refers to is quite nice and reiterates a discourse by Rev. Peter M. Wallace printed in the Huffington Post called 52 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self. Number 2 reads "It’s a good thing that we don’t know everything that’s going to happen to us. If I had known all the pains and heartaches I would encounter in life, even amidst the joys and victories, it would surely have been too much to bear." Truth. "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."

When I first read the devotional my cynical mind chuckled and I looked back on my life and could see myself eagerly interject "Don't walk down that road! Don't do it! Don't go there." Kind of like an avalanche warning on a ski hill. Yet the devotional is correct in that all our experiences have shaped who we are and above all, children are never a mistake. I am grateful for the experiences I have had but many of them I sure as hell would not like to repeat or relive.

The second half of the devotional gets religious and mentions the forgiveness of God which doesn't really concern me. Not to be sacrilegious but that's just not where I'm at right now. For me it's about being true to your own set of values and being at peace with yourself. Outlaws for life.

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