. . . or rewriting the story . . .
Did you ever read a short story, novella or novel and wish the less than satisfying ending could have been different?! Some readers have been motivated to become writers themselves in reaction to experiencing such disappointing endings to stories.
What about our lives and how they have progressed seen in hindsight? We recall a line from a movie seen a while back on television. A young woman asked an older man what prior decisions or actions he would change in his life if he could make changes. He replied “Everything.” He would change everything in how he had lived his life.
As we navigate our way through the struggle that is life, we constantly make choices and decisions that put us on a different path. Think of it this way, at each junction, we move on to a specific pathway or passage and leave the other alternative pathways behind. We encounter additional branchings frequently as we are confronted with choices (even choices in how we react to what life foists upon us). Seen from above in both time and space, our chosen path through life set against the other alternative passages we could have opted to move along appears as just one path among many in an expanding web or labyrinth.
We have noted this before (in a post that was likely only read by 2 or 3 people) that each decision we make sets us on a separate path that over time and with additional choices and actions undertaken takes us further away from where we had been. Ask yourself: What if I had chosen a different field of study when a student? What if I had opted for a different occupation or line of work? Would moving away from my home town have been a beneficial opportunity for acquiring new experiences? How would my life be different now if another relationship had worked out and I married someone else – or, what if my earlier marriage could have been saved if I had acted differently? You get the idea. Of course, these were major decisions. But, even the minor course adjustments we do not give much thought to each day serve to alter our path and make us different from we might otherwise be over time.
We cannot change the past and our past actions or failures to act. But, we can consciously work to change ourselves and make more constructive, loving choices now in the present. By doing so, in the future we may have less regrets and be closer to the limited amount of happiness that can be achieved in the human condition in this flawed world.
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