Have you ever been faced with an opportunity and upon what you thought to be sober second thought, said “No” when you could have said, “YES!”
Life is filled with such passages. Those moments where if I’d had the courage, if I’d taken the chance, I might have done ‘a’ instead of ‘b’ and who knows where I’d be today. I can’t change the past, but I can heal the spaces where those decisions continue to present me with opportunities to let go of the fear, or perhaps insecurities, or maybe confusion that held me back from living my life bravely.
According to Thomas Moore, whose soul-centered philosophy speak deeply to me, some of those passages need to be healed, or we stay stuck. In our stuckedness, the unhealed passage leaves us acting out in immature, unconscious ways that limit the grace with which we pass through each day and ultimately, prevent us from knowing grace in aging.
“Passages are not always easy. You may decide it is too much for you and settle for being stuck in a comfortable phase.” — Thomas Moore, Ageless Soul
Moore suggests we look back on our lives and see various passages as linked by plateaus which represent the stages of our lives. Not necessarily the ‘aged’ stages, but rather, the significant events which make up our growing. School. Marriage. Travel. Jobs. Adventures…
Sometimes, we don’t navigate the passages between plateaus well. Sometimes, in our inability to let go of one plateau to pass through to another, we refuse to say yes to possibility and hold onto, or stay stuck in, what was and can never be again.
There are many ways to heal those broken passages.
The first step is to draw a timeline of your life, mark the significant events and then, mark those opportunities on it that you didn’t take, those moments where you said No when you could have said Yes but something held you back.
Look for patterns, for spaces where your reason for No carried over into other areas of your life, even when you wanted to say Yes.
Now, hold those moments lovingly in your mind, and let compassion, love, acceptance pour over them. Let your heart open wide to the realization that in those instances you chose No, not because you couldn’t do it, but rather, because doing it was too risky, scary, fear-inducing, or you just felt more comfortable staying stuck.
And then, say, “I see you. I forgive you. I let go. I am peaceful with my decision today.”