They say that youth is wasted on the young.... I used to wonder what that meant, you know, when I was young...
Now that I am not so young, I wish I could steal some of it back. I'm not old yet, but definitely on the downward side of the hill. I'm in the in-between time. It is a time to look backwards, hope forwards, and really learn to trust my Heavenly Father.
So I ask myself... If I could travel back in time, what kind of advice would I give myself?
It might surprise you to learn it would not be the obvious. I would not warn the younger me about the two disastrous marriages. I learned too much about me during those trials to risk missing the lessons. I also wouldn't risk the possibility of not having any of my 6 children.
I may warn me to not mention to my doctor when I'm pregnant with Bobby that I cut myself while digging in my garden. I was bullied into getting a tetanus shot at 5 months pregnant and I believe that is why he has autism. That is a hard one though, because of Bobby's autism, he has brought great blessings to his family. This is probably his own trial and nothing I did or didn't do would change the path that was set for him. Maybe it is just presumptuous of me to think I could have power to change his path.
So what would I say to me?
I would stress the need to take better care of me. Regular dental visits I'm sure would have saved some of my present dental grief. Not to mention several thousand dollars.
I would have a long talk with myself around age 30, and explain in minute detail how self-destructive behavior acted out then will manifest it's consequences in a decade or two. I would tell me how I no longer loathed myself and I would very much appreciate having my body cared for in a more respectful manner.
You see, when I was 30 and freshly diagnosed with P.T.S.D., I slipped into a period of time, about 6 months, where I became a head banger. I actually did it since my youth, but never to the point of concussions. During this aprox. 6 month period of time I had back-to-back concussions. I hated myself so intensely and felt such a need for punishment, that I was determined to give it to me as fully as I was able. Yes, I was suicidal as well, but I knew I couldn't destroy my existence, so instead I tried hard to destroy my body.... and more interestingly, I tried to get God to stop wanting me. I didn't want me, so why should He?
True to His nature, I did not succeed in getting God to turn His back on me. In fact, He was finally successful in getting me to stop banging my head against brick walls. Yes, literally, brick walls.
But damage was done, and now I must live with the consequences. My spine is somewhat fragile, it does not withstand impacts very well at all. I cannot jump or run, I must be careful how I walk and sit. It simply does not respond very well to any kind of compression trauma, and pretty much any kind of jarring is a compression trauma now-a-days.
God can heal all traumas, so I am now praying He will reverse the damage I so ungratefully inflicted on myself. If it is His will to remove the consequences from me, then I will again have a strong spine. Whatever He chooses to do for me, I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned.
God is good, and He chooses for me what will be of most benefit to me in my progression back towards Him. Of this, I am sure.
But if I had the ability to change one thing from my past, it would be to take better care of my body.
6 months ago