Recently I had a revelation about myself.
I was looking through an old social media account of mine when I noticed how different the “past” me is from the “current” me.
And I have to say, I really like who I am now much, much more. I feel better, I look better, and I have had some really incredible experiences since.
Yet…I couldn’t help but be compelled by something…
Somehow, I couldn’t stop reading all of the messages people had sent me and all of the posts I made.
An overwhelming feeling started to sweep over me. It was more than nostalgia…it was inspiration.
At first I had to wonder why I was being inspired by my past self. It seems like a natural tendency to assume that as our lives go on, we become a person who is “in addition to” the person we used to be.
Reading all of my old posts, I began to get the sense that the person I used to be is a totally different person than the person I am now.
And this was a very strange feeling.
I started to move into this idea that I actually don’t even really know that guy. It was very strange…I might as well have been reading someone else’s profile.
I felt drawn to myself in a new and exciting way. Despite having lived that life, I felt like I was learning from someone who I used to be good friends with.
When I think back to that time, it gives me an intense and almost overwhelming feeling. Not only do I know that guy…but I AM him. I am the same guy!
I share the same stories, the same experiences, the same background, the same feelings, the same childhood…
That guy is me!
But why does he feel so distant?
How come as I read I feel as though I’m being reacquainted with an old friend?
As it turns out, the answer was staring me right in the face: I became so wrapped up in self development that I forgot who I used to be.
I became so focused on personal improvement that I overlooked the fact that the person I used to be had many great characteristics. That the person I used to be was not all bad. He had many strengths and qualities that the present me simply doesn’t have any more.
The person I used to be had a lot of great qualities that didn’t need to be changed.
This was a beautifully sad moment for me.
Here I was, staring my past self right in the face and thinking, “Wow…I wish I was that chill about life.”
The guy I used to be was exceptionally cool. He didn’t have a care in the world. He didn’t care what people thought of him. He didn’t do anything he didn’t want to do. And in the process, he didn’t worry about when things didn’t go his way.
In many ways, the past version of me was a total free spirit.
And it was so amazing to feel that energy again.
Even though I didn’t have much money, I was free.
Even though I didn’t have even 20% of the discipline I have now, I was way more content.
Even though I was stuck in life, I really enjoyed being there.
In many ways, it was the best time of my life.
Now, I don’t know what happened…maybe I lost my casual flow in life or maybe life just got harder…
Now I have to make an income to survive and provide for my family.
Now I have a direction in life and lofty goals to go with it.
Now I have to be serious about each and every day.
Now I have more bills to pay, more things to fix, more responsibilities to handle.
But – seriously – why should the increase of demands in life mean that I can’t tap into those powers I used to have?
How come I can’t incorporate my strengths of the past into the present version of myself?
Who says I have to worry?
Who says I can no longer be care free?
Who says that I can’t have the detached mentality that I used to have?
I want to remember who I used to be.
I want my past self to teach me.
I want to experience again – even more fully this time – the art of not worrying.
And I want to cultivate once again – and even more deeply – the art of making things “just work out.”