Can you every really Return Home?
I have just arrived in North Carolina for the first time in 3.5 years, and through conversations with friends, reminders of old habits, and a return of the mind to the past, have been pondering whether we can return to anything fully. The paradoxes and contrasts that have surfaced have been interesting, and it feels that many of us will be facing the same questions, consciously or unconsciously over the coming weeks…
Greek Philosopher Heraclitus stated, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
The water is refreshed every second, levels rise and fall, the bed changes, the banks erode to new shapes. And so do we. Change is inevitable, nothing stays the same. And anytime we try to return, or recreate the past, there will be new ingredients, information, input. While we may believe on one level that continuing to repeat the same dynamics over and over again is the easier option because it is practiced and known, it becomes difficult, when the environment has evolved.
We can only ‘return’ to what has also stayed fixed. And this is where life dies, where inspiration falters, and we stagnate.
One of the reasons I have appreciated some of my longest friendships, is because we have know each other and our histories for decades. There can be comfort in connecting with those who have known us through periods of innocence, exploration, growth, victories, celebrations. We can feel anchored or steadied by the length of history, and ideas around identities formed in those years.
It can feel seductive to slip back into the roles and patterns of those times, when we were less mature, less aware, less awake.
I have found that the richness and beauty of the connections that span time lies somewhere in between-with people who know our histories and the deeper, more consistant truths within us, but who have evolved themselves, and can meet us with openness, and flexibility in what is expected from that relationship.
Allowing history to be history is liberating. We can value the resonance without feeling we have to show up in the same ways. And in fact, the health of those relationships demands evolution.
Think back on your roles and labels from your earlier years, with family and friends. Remember the ones that shaped you and your perspective or behaviour the most…
Were you the shy one, the loud one, the rebel, the rule follower, good child, the oldest/middle/youngest child, the one left behind, the pioneer, the black sheep, the responsible one, the difficult one? Allow yourself to remember, so that you can gain the insight from those roles, but without continuing to slip into them whenever you reconnect with people/places from your past.
Take some time today to meditate on:
- Which identities from my past am I still wearing that no longer serve?
- When I connect with a specific friend/family member, to what age do I regress? How do I feel in that age/phase?
- When do I feel my maturity and wisdom slipping away, and in what ways do I shrink/contract/grow smaller?
- Am I unconsciously obligating myself or others to act a specific age, even though we have both matured and evolved since then?
Remember that attempting to recreate the past is impossible, and it is meant to be. The only consistent in life is change, and when we can embrace and embody the gifts of time and experience, we invite those around us to heal and evolve along with us.
Please feel free to share what this brings up for you. I would love to witness your musings, questions, and epiphanies!
**Please join us online next week for the Winter Solstice, to turn within, towards intuition, insight, and true self care! This event is included in the Seasonal Membership, or you can purchase your place HERE