If you could change one thing in your past…

Image of a California Poppy flower. Photo take...

What would it be? That’s a hard question, isn’t it?

I used to think this was an easy question. I remember the moment when my life changed irrevocably: it was the moment that my first husband and I drove away from his house for the last time, heading to our exciting new adventure in Tennessee. I can picture it as though it were yesterday, and even remember the music we had playing (it was a Boston song). That moment opened the doors of my mind to living other places than California. I was an innocent 20 years old, and had no idea what adventures were in store for me in that moment of choice and change.

If I had changed anything that led to that decision, I think forward to the many things that would never have happened. It’s kind of like the movie “Sliding Doors“:what one tiny decision could change your life? If I hadn’t pursued that relationship and left California for the first time, I would never have had so many experiences. Here’s some of the highlights that would never have happened:

  • I would never have met some incredible and significant people, some of whom are still cherished participants in my life.
  • I would never have driven through most of the states in the country and gained the wisdom to make the choice about where I want to live–or to be open to some of the options that face me.
  • I would have never see the beauty of creation in its different forms, both physical and spiritual.
  • I probably would not be sitting here this early morning writing this blog with the insights that I have.

What would have happened if I had not made that choice? I don’t know, but I do think that I probably would not have left southern California for several more years. There’s no telling what my life would have been, but that doesn’t bother me. For all the joy and pain that I have experienced, I know that the Universe has guided me to bring me to this very moment in time and space.

I think that we have infinite power in every moment and every choice we make. Each seemingly insignificant detail possesses the power to alter our reality and our perspective. Similarly, every choice we make is like a ripple in a pond: we have no idea how many people and events our decisions will affect. We are all interconnected more than we realize, even when it seems like we are all alone. Actually, it’s in those moments of feeling alone that we are the most connected. Think about it.

Picture yourself sitting alone on a warm sunny beach. Even then, life teems around you. The surf ebbs and recedes with its own rhythm, bringing occasional marine animals to the shore. Your awareness of the surf and the little crab that suddenly appeared with the last wave is the Universe’s way of saying “You’re not alone. I see you, even if no one else does.”

What if you had chosen to go to a shady forest instead of that warm beach? The Universe would have brought you different experiences: a sunbeam peeking through the branches, a squirrel scooting up a tree, a trail of ants busily working for their colony. You still would have not been alone. The only difference would have been the physical appearance.

So I ask again: if you could change one thing in your past, what would you change? You would still have experiences, but they would likely be different. You would probably not be the person you are today. I guess the deeper question is this:

Even if you could change your past, would you trade the “you” that exists today?


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