What would that term apply to in my life? A meal? A vacation? A dream? Or . . . it’s the phrase that popped into my head when prompted with “your past.”
My past? The one I think of as ho-hum, a little bit boring, a zigzag of non-sequitur jobs, a lot of investment and not much payoff—that past?
“Wildly good” is not a caption I would write for the life in my wake. But here it is screaming in neon across my frontal lobe.
I require context. It’s how I learn; it’s how I assess meaning; it’s how I make decisions; it’s how I assign worth. Yet I peer into my past and see a lack of cohesion. I see events and circumstances in isolation. I see a bunch of pieces and no indication they fit in the same puzzle except for the fact they are strewn across the table of my life. I see an absence of significance.
But I failed to notice my hands were so full of personal, historical minutiae I’d lost—or never found—the narrative thread. In looking back I latched onto the hard, the disappointing, the not quite moments, the desert sojourns; and I let them overwhelm the good, the exciting, the successful, the fun, the light. As a pessimist optimistically calling myself a realist I wrote off the positive as nothing special.
My past does include pain and frustration and deviated dreams; but it also includes an amazing family, a support network both widespread and tightly woven, three degrees with no debt, zip lining in a rain forest, holding my newborn nieces and nephew, walking the land Jesus walked, deep friendships, skydiving, investing in people, freedom to explore multiple career paths, resources with which to be generous, a well-stamped passport . . . an experientially and relationally rich life.
Putting the pieces in context is key.
In fact, with a little prompting, I’m realizing my life—my past, my present and my future—is wildly good.
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