I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not a very well-balanced person. When I am thinking through new things and gaining wisdom from life experiences, I fixate on what I’m learning and forget to apply previous lessons!
Anyone else guilty of this?
I get in an all-fire, passionate zeal to do better and to live better that for awhile I forget the good things I’ve learned before.
In the last year, I’ve learned how to let go of the past and not stress about the future. I’ve been in a crash course for quiet moment-living. But in my great fervor to learn these things, I’ve inadvertently shoved my past experiences aside.
But looking back can be quite healthy! I can’t live in the past, but I can remember it, and I can be thankful for it. A few nights ago, I was reminded of all the doodles that Ben drew for me when we were writing letters in the first year of our relationship. I found the envelopes and began looking through each one. His artistic doodles really are fun…and entertaining!
It didn’t take long before my husband was looking at them with me and we were reminiscing about old times. OK, it wasn’t all that long ago, but so much as happened since then that it feels like forever ago.
It was special to look back and remember a time when we were first getting to know each other in those beginning months of opening up and loving through words and time and doodled envelopes. It occurred to me how well he loved me then, and how well he loves me now.
We aren’t sending love letters back and forth anymore. The expressions of love have changed into something different.
It is not that we love each other less, but that we are learning to love each other in new ways.
These new ways of love happen when he takes care of our truck, when he makes me breakfast, when I ask him if he wants tea or coffee every morning. It’s when he still picks me wildflowers just because.
These new ways happen when we take walks together, and he picks blackberries with me even though he doesn’t really want to. It happens when we drink coffee on Saturday while we sit and talk life on the front porch.
It happens when he asks if I want to watch a movie with him. It happens when he makes me pantry shelves. It happens when I feed the dog in the morning instead of leaving it to him.
It happens when he asks me my opinion on things or when I listen to his new thoughts and ideas on diverse subjects. It happens when I make him chocolate chip cookies. It happens when he swings by Dutch Bros for the upteenth time because I just love their coffee! These new ways of love happen all the time, but they are so ordinary that it’s easy to overlook them.
So, as I looked back to our past filled with love letters, notes, and wonderful memories, I was thankful for how our love looked then, and for how it looks now. It’s less poetic, but far deeper. Our love now does not make our love then any less important. We had to have that to have this, and this is just the best.
So this week, I was reminded that looking back can be healthy. It can even make you appreciate the present even more than you did before! Looking at the past might be just thing you need to do.
I know that for me, looking at the past was a lovely reminder of all that’s happened and all that’s happening now!