I’ve often said that the things to which we seem to actively take an aversion in childhood, or as youngsters, are often the very things that we end up meeting again later in life (and usually forming a positive relationship with…).
I have multiple examples of this in my own life – perhaps you do too? They seem trivial (and some certainly have bigger issues to contend with), but the importance is in the noticing, I believe…
One, for me, is the yin-yang symbol. You know the one – the black and white ‘fish’ which s-shape around one another to form a perfect whole circle… It seemed to be everywhere when I was a teenager, and I disliked it vehemently!
(And of course, at the time I didn’t actually understand anything about it whatsoever! How often is that true?!)
Only to find, many many years later, that it’s the most important model that has formed my life, and my practice, and ultimately one that I talk about all of the time!
How does that happen? It’s as if it was planted everywhere for me to see, and to take note of, and with which to form a relationship…because of how important it would be for me later in life. As if the less positive relationship is there early on in order for us to overcome our judgements or even prejudices, and therefore to fully understand and appreciate the thing – whatever it might be.
How about you?
How does this play out to you? (I don’t mean about the fish!) Can you recall concepts, places, people (?) which whom you’ve had a less than lovely relationship early on in life…only to find they become hugely significant for you later on? I’d love to hear; I find it truly fascinating… Feel free to write a line here.
Peeling back the blinkers
Another biggie for me was history. Oh. My. Word. Did I dislike history!
In truth, I just could never recall who did what, or when, and we all need a point of interest to keep us hooked…
And yet now, I love to plough through a book which gives some context and historical background to a situation.
Don’t get me wrong – I will never volitionally visit a castle and read every plaque on every wall, because I’m just not interested in the dry facts like that. On the other hand, give me some context, make the exploration meaningful, and preferably with some emotional perspective to get a grasp of, and I’m in! Hook, line and…
So when we travel to a new place or country, I’m all over the local knowledge and digesting a book or two about how and why it is as we find it…now.
Because only when we understand what went before, can we really appreciate why we find what we find today.
Context is everything, and peeling back the blinkers enables us to sit in a more informed position – and this influences everything…
Not least because we can start to unpick the elements of the world around us and to see how we’ve become so blasé to what we consider our social norms – good or bad. It enables us to make a critical appraisal (which doesn’t have to be criticism by the way!), of what we really want to take further into the future with us…our perception changes.
And this applies on a personal level, as well as on a collective level.