Time Machine Challenge: Changing the past?

 

Linda over at litebeing chronicles has issued a blogging challenge:

Directions: Pick a time in your life that was critical to your development. You can go back or forwards in time. It can be real or imagined. After all, it is real if you imagine it!

Choose an idea or a skill or a value you hold dear in the present and infuse it into that time period.

Share your story of what happens to positively impact your life.

There are still some dates left, so if you’d like to join the challenge check out the list at the bottom of her post for the dates that are open.

Downtown Flint as seen from the Flint River.

Downtown Flint as seen from the Flint River. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided to go back to high school and a tale of changing history.  I was a pretty unhappy kid in high school. I got good grades and hung out with others in the “smart” group, participated in enough activities to look good on college applications.  But I was miserable.

There were mean kids at the school — is there a school that doesn’t have some? — and a few unhappy incidents.  Mostly I tried to be invisible and succeeded in being ignored.  Miserable and ignored.  And I blamed everyone else and the town and the school…  I couldn’t wait to graduate and get out.

Once gone, I just felt happy to be away.  I loved college and big city life.  When my Dad retired and my parents asked how I’d feel if they moved to Florida, I responded that never going back to Flushing, MI would be fine with me. Any time I thought of high school or my town, it was with vitriol.  My best friends were equally unhappy with their high school experience and we all periodically agreed we never wanted to go to a reunion or be there again.

Then in my thirties I started exploring spirituality.  Meditating.  Practicing the Five Tibetan Rites, etc.  Examining my past and releasing anger and issues.  In 1990 I received an invitation to the twentieth reunion of my high school class.  It included a form to fill out for a “yearbook” they were creating with updates from all who sent back the form.  You could order one for $5.

I still had no desire to go to a reunion but I sent in my check for the updates and later in the summer the book arrived.  I was stunned at the long list of classmates who’d died (I suspect if I researched I’d find a few were lost in Viet Nam].  Moved to read the stories of so many people I’d known and lost track of.  Suddenly I wanted to go back.

I booked a room at a B&B in a nearby town and drove off to spend a weekend exploring.  I drove around Flint (the main city of the “metropolitan area”), where I’d lived from birth to age 12.  I hung out in Flushing (one of a ring of small satellite towns), where I’d spent my junior high and high school years.  And I slowly realized that I’d actually lived in a charming town.  That I’d had lovely friends and more people than I’d acknowledged who’d tried to include me.

But I was a miserable introvert with no self esteem, a definite lack of social skills and a chip on my shoulder.  I didn’t know how to be happy or to be part of things.  And I blamed everyone else for my unhappiness.  Looking at it from a place of calm, having learned a greater capacity for self-acceptance, love and compassion, completely changed my perspective.

For me it changed the history.  I understood I was the cause of my own misery.  Had I been able to step outside of myself and had I known some skills for staying centered and positive, the entire experience would have been different.  I fell in love with my little town and felt sorry about the lost opportunities with people I could have known and appreciated and loved more.  Ever since that day I’ve felt a warm glow in my heart when I think of my home town and I adore taking my mother back every year to visit.

In downtown Flushing MI

In downtown Flushing MI

It’s tempting to wish I could time travel back to high school with what I know now about inner strength, staying centered, etc.  Of course I’d have been happier.  Tempting to infuse that unhappy girl with positive thoughts and give her a copy of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life.  But really I think the misery of then and the process of healing are key pieces of my journey.  I think what I’m able to do with this blog and other writing about the journey directly arises from what I’ve experienced in that flow from misery to happiness.

For me the change that arose from time travel came from looking back at the past with new eyes and discovering a different story there.

Be sure to check out the next post in the series.  Right now it’s scheduled for Oct. 9 at EyesofOdysseus (which means October 7 and 8 are two of the dates still open if you want to grab one FAST).

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20 thoughts on “Time Machine Challenge: Changing the past?

  1. Pingback: Time Machine Blogging Challenge: But Wait, There’s More. | litebeing chronicles

  2. Thank you for such an honest and quite engaging trip back to high school. I love how you infused former Leigh with a centered , appreciative attitude of present Leigh. The clock struck 111 as I type this so you know I speak the truth 😉 It is wonderful how you shifted your perspective about your hometown. I recently had a chance to drive around my old hood with Sarah and so much has changed. We drove about 1 block shy of my old high school and part of me wanted to walk back into that building and feel the energy ( I often dream about high school but the location is always distorted.)

    Well done! Did this process heal something inside you? Just wonderin’

    Namaste,
    Linda

    • I enjoyed remembering and writing, but really the big healing happened when I made that trip and I was quite conscious at the time of what changed and how. Every time we visit I reflect on that shift and I feel it deepens every year. So with this year’s visit fresh, I think this floated into my mind as the subject naturally. I’ve been pretty aware that all the “bad stuff” was part of a “meant to be” that set me up for the healing journey. It felt good to put it all together and write it down though. Thanks for the challenge!

  3. How wonderful that you went back and “changed” your history. Got a new perspective on your hometown and growing up. I love that! I have had a similar track as you. I wasn’t completely miserable when I was in high school. But I did not enjoy it. I was so very insecure in who I was, always dreaming of being someone else. Oh, how I wish I could go back and experience the freedom of feeling good about being myself, even if I am different, of living and understanding what I know now. But, I suppose I am only who I am now because of who I was then, and this whole journey I have been on thus far. So great to reflect on this a little! xo

    • Now that is a revelation — you seem so comfortable in your own skin now I’d not have guessed that you were uncomfortable in high school too, even knowing you were not happy as a younger adult. I have my moments too when I wish I could go back and live earlier times with what I know now…. But you’re so right, we got to what we know now by being who we were then….

  4. Pingback: Time Machine Blogging Challenge: Traversing the Timelessness of the Dreamworld | Through the Peacock's Eyes

  5. Hi Leigh, First it’s lovely to meet you though Linda’s Challenge..
    Its good that you now see life and your early years from a renewed perspective… And see how in reality you did have friends.. And that your Town was indeed a lovely place to be..
    Isn’t it also interesting how many of us woke up to ourselves in the 90’s, a great time period for many people to Wake Up and ‘Shift’ their awareness into the Spiritual.. 🙂

    Being who we were then, was all meant to be though, as it moulded us into the beings we are now.. 🙂
    I loved reading your story Leigh.. Many thanks for sharing your personal journey with us.

    Love and Blessings..
    Sue xxx ❤

  6. I enjoyed and can relate to your story, Leigh. I particularly enjoy the realization that though the past could have been different had we known something then we know now, that at some level we needed that past to know it now… And so in a sense there is a perfection to what has been, and I think healing is tied to this realization. It couldn’t have been any other way, given who we were at the time, and who we were in the process of becoming…

    Peace
    Michael

  7. Hey Leigh sorry I am late in visiting. I loved your story and can totally relate, although my reasons weren’t that I was smart, or introverted, but unhappy. I hated the small town I was from, I couldn’t wait to flee, and run far, far away, and I did. I was back there for a couple years, I think you have known me since I started blogging, I was there. I tried to make peace with it.

    An example where things did change per perception was this house, On my way to Louisiana, I stayed a week here with my sister, I though the back yard was dusty and ugly, lol, and now it is my magical fairy garden. ❤

    I am sure I have told you before, but dang you write well. 😀

    Namaste
    Sindy

    • Thanks so much!
      I don’t think I realized you’re living in your childhood home? I remember you moved somewhere after I started following but somehow I didn’t take it in that it was back home.
      The magical fairy garden sounds so nice! It’s great when perspective changes isn’t it?

  8. Pingback: The Sunday Wrap: October 11, 2015 | The Seeker's Dungeon

  9. I am checking out the time machine blogging challenge and really glad it brought me here. I can relate to so much of what you said, including your point about going back in time and being tempted to change things, but then acknowledging it was all part of a journey to get you to where you are. I completely agree, thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. What a great story. Perception is so interesting. Just relating differently to something completely changes it, and how we relate to ourselves in it completely changes it. Thank you for sharing part of your healing journey. I agree that who we are now needed who we were then – for the growth.
    Peace,
    Mary

  11. Pingback: The Sunday Wrap: October 18, 2015 | The Seeker's Dungeon

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