What if I, is a question so many of us ask themselves throughout life. What if I didn’t quit, what if I did? What if I would have been stronger, smarter, prettier, less afraid, more emotionale available etc.
What if we start shifting these thoughts to: What have I learned about myself and the world through my decisions, my thoughts, words and actions? How can I benefit from my own experience?
I had this conversation with several women over the last two weeks. I adhere to certain belief systems that make no sense, not even to myself. If I’d have to explain them to someone, they would laugh out loud and so would I because it’s totally illogically and ridiculous! However, deep within there’s something in me that still believes in it. Who can help me? No other than me, because it’s me and my thinking, my words and actions that help to manifest these beliefs even more.
I started to write down my story on how I grew up in a very white Switzerland and how this effected me in many different ways. By putting my experiences in words, I started to see my thought patterns, my coloring and behavior so much clearer and it broke my heart at times, on how much I still cling to certain behavior that isn’t healthy or helping. What to do?
Since my seperation from my husband last year, I spent a lot of time alone. To grieve, mourn and trying to undertsand, what had happened to this love for each other that once illuminated my entire being and my life. To just be quiet and hope to find answers to the questions that only I can find within myself.
I haven’t found all the answers but a few. I’m still not fully recovered but I’m better.
What if or what not? Different choices would have made for a different outcome and honestly, I’m not sure if that would have been better. I don’t regret my choices because I’m grateful for my life the way it is and an optimist. So to me my life, feels very privileged and if I could have glimpsed at my life in my 40’s when I was 13, I would have been ecstatic.
Writing down my life in words also freed me from attachment to secrecy, nothing to hide anymore. I come from a family with many secrets that were kept, unspoken and festered in the hearts. Many of us learned as children, that some occurrences in the family can not be discussed with anyone outside. To me, this has become a parameter to decide when it’s time to act: “Is what’s happening in my relationship with my partner, my kids, my parents something that I couldn’t tell a friend without fearing their rightful concern?” If so, it’s time to act accordingly.
Forward we go and that’s the natural flow of life. Honoring what was but celebrating what is, being open to what is to come.
— Olive Ssembuze —
— GALA SCHWEIZ 13. September 2018
— Foto: Federico Naef