Sometimes, when we grow and evolve, it’s tough to remember how it used to be.
It can be hard to feel sympathy for others even if we were once in their position. How easily we forget! I know this is a weak spot of mine – do you notice it about yourself as well? I often get impatient with people who are stuck in complacency and victimhood – brushing off the knowledge that I was there too, not so long ago.
It’s difficult to relate to past versions of ourselves when we’ve moved on. After all, we worked very hard to get where we are. We don’t have any desire to revisit that misery. We would rather leave it in the past. The thing is, if we want to help others get past their own hurdles and heal, we can’t dismiss our own journey. It is the very thing that has taught us how to light the way for those who are still struggling. That is our gift. It would be a shame to waste it because we refuse to look at previous iterations of ourselves.
There is no need to feel shame or disgust for who we used to be. If we can instead regard ourselves with love and compassion, no matter where we were or where we are now, we can in turn develop that kindness towards others who are still in the thick of it.
We are still growing and changing, too. We may be a few steps ahead of some others, but in turn, we are a few steps behind many. Everyone is on their own journey. It isn’t our job to tell them where they should be and what they should do. It’s our job to embrace them where they are and help them feel safe to continue on.
We should be proud of how far we’ve come. We should also be humble about how far we can still travel. Treat everyone you meet with understanding and a keen remembrance of your time in their shoes. Don’t shy away from seeing your commonalities. It’s what makes us human.
Love all your former selves. They got you to where you are today, and you wouldn’t be yourself without them… no matter how lost, confused, and clueless they might seem to you now. You may see the current version of yourself the same way in a couple years! That’s the beauty of constantly doing the work – you get to see your growth. Don’t dismiss it.
I am sending love to all the versions of you, past and present. Stay humble. Stay awake. Stay kind.