Hindsight

Last weekend I had a phone call with someone I consider to be a very close friend, someone I've known most of my life and who knows me better than probably anyone other than my husband.

We discussed shared experiences from years gone by and how maturity has allowed us to look back with a very different perspective on events we thought we had all figured out when we were living through them.

In the course of our marathon talk (over three hours), we realized that we'd had very similar shifts in thinking about circumstances that were significant in both our lives. We attributed our hindsight to learning previously unknown facts related to certain situations as well as the ability to see things from an adult's point of view, factoring in all of the responsibilities that adulthood entails - for us, that included marriage and children, which happened to be very helpful to gaining a better understanding or empathy for what we went through.

I find it interesting that many years after living through what felt like such a negative experience at the time can be softened by considering factors I was too young to process at the time. It doesn't make the circumstances less negative, but it certainly puts a different spin that can make it easier to forgive real or perceived wrongs, let go and move on.

On the other hand, there is also greater awareness of machinations and manipulations that created unnecessary hurt and problems for so many people. That's the hard part to let go. These divisive actions continue to cause hurt and negative influence to this day because not everyone sees the events with the same perspective.

Perspective is a wonderful thing; it can change with a few words or new facts. It isn't like an opinion - you're not considered wishy-washy if you have a legitimately altered perspective. However, it's far too easy to hold on to a certain point of view when you don't have all the facts, or if someone is skewing them.

In my personal experience, looking back on many of the challenging situations I dealt with as I was growing up has given me a far more positive perspective - one that is freeing. I'm free of resentment, anger and hurt that could have negatively affected long-term relationships. I'm grateful for the clarity looking back has given me. I don't know every detail, but I know enough of the crucial ones to be comfortable that my current point of view is far more accurate than my limited understanding at the time allowed.

Have you experienced major shifts in your thinking as an adult? How did it impact you and your relationships with the parties involved?

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Written in participation of Bigger Picture Moments, "A moment where you recognized the role your faith plays in your every day life. A moment where you take note of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing. A moment that made you stop and breathe in the bigness of it all. The hugeness that is life and the small moments adding up to one Bigger Picture." Check out this week's posts at Trains, Tutus and Tea Time.