I often play a mental game with others by asking “Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and keep your memories of how your life has been, would you change anything?” The answers I get are always fascinating.
Up until recently, I used to wish I had made better decisions throughout my life and often dreamt of going back in time and starting my life over at a certain point. What’s funny is that I don’t think that way anymore because I am liking who I’m becoming now. Living with the drama I usually put myself in before that, I didn’t really like myself or my life. In turn, this led me to living in a fantasy land about things such as time travel where I would think about how my life could be if I had done this thing or that thing differently.
As I began healing from all the past things that happened to myself, I pondered some deep questions about time travel which made it seem not so alluring. What if everything that happened in my life, was meant to happen as it did? What if I was able to go back in time and changed one thing that I thought would make my life better, and instead, it made things even worse or more complicated? What if the dysfunctional family that I had was the one that was best suited for me to become the spiritual person I am becoming today? What if the relationships that I got in that were toxic were all meant for me to be in so I could eventually be in a healthy one and one that is closer to God? What if all those jobs I had and subsequently quit or the business I owned and tragically lost, all were learning lessons to gain a greater spiritual awareness for the work I was always meant to do?
There’s a great movie I once saw surrounding this very subject. It was entitled “The Butterfly Effect” and starred a very young actor named Ashton Kutcher. In it, he continued to try to change things and make them the way his mind thought they should have been and proceeded to get worse and worse results. Each adjustment he did created a ripple throughout his life that changed everything, even to some of the good things that had happened which he didn’t want to have altered. By the end of the movie, he finally came to acceptance with things, even with the tragic things that had happened throughout it, including the ones he kept trying to manipulate. When he did that, he was able to move on and found new happiness and love.
Ironically, this is exactly what is happening in my life today. Once I began accepting that things happened as they should, I started wishing less and less that I could go back in time to change anything. The reality for me is that I don’t wish to change a single thing in my previous life anymore, even if the ability to time travel actually did exist. I like who I’m becoming now even though there still are many days I’m suffering in physical pain and question God. I can only imagine how much better my life will become by continuing on a path of acceptance and love for everyone and everything.
So if I could go back in time to any part of my life to change it…I wouldn’t. But if could take that time machine and repurpose it, I would go back invisibly and observe many of the great spiritual teachers that God brought to this earth who have since passed. But that’s really just a good subject for a whole other blog entry now isn’t it?
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson