Week 13. Lives Not Lived


3/28/20243 min read

blue wooden door with red door
blue wooden door with red door

With every decision, we choose one over the other thing, and we might never know what that other option might have brought into our lives. Sometimes it’s a job opportunity that we didn’t take and talking to other people, maybe working in exactly that position we passed, we can gauge what it could have been for us. Sometimes it’s going for financial stability over following our dreams and wondering what our lives could have looked like if we would have taken the other way. Sometimes it’s marrying the person of our dreams just to live out a nightmare together. Grieving of the life we never lived or know we can’t have anymore is a real thing. I’ve been living with this theme for the past year and recently saw that a licenced therapist Kati Morton also talked about it (the first 13:22 min is about the topic) and it made me realize that more people are feeling this way.

The grief of the life unived comes front and center especially when we start to heal our childhood traumas and realize all the things didn’t happen for us: life of a carefree childhood we didn’t have, the safe caregivers we wanted so badly but got an abusive, addicted to substances, narcissistic or an absent one, all that suffering we’ve endured since the first days of our lives with no fault of our own or any other scenario. Realizing now what was not there and maybe deeply grieving it. The good thing is, if you are reading this, chances are you’re still here, surviving all the adversities and trying to keep going the best you can. My suggestion is to notice that you have the right now, this moment, to choose what is best for your adult self and for your child self. You can be the parent, the sibling, the friend for your child self that you always needed. You can write down all the things that you needed from your caregivers, your surroundings and be that to yourself now, today. It’s a choice away, and much easier than it sounds. This is also a way to become a better parent for your own children if they are in your life, and to become a better adult overall. Sometimes the things your child needs might be a pile of cotton candy, a splashing tournament at a pool, going ice skating or other things that the adult you might think would look silly doing as a grown up. But it actually opens up doors to playfulness for yourself, for others to join in your “silliness” and to connect from an authentic place. Needless to say, if you would do all these things with your own kids there is a risk to form core memories with them. So if you don’t want to have fond memories, please, don’t take that advice.

Being sad about the opportunities we didn’t take, the chances we might not even had, realistically, when we were considering them but couldn’t possibly know when we didn’t choose them, could look like the end of the road, like things might never come back around again. But sometimes we get pockets of possibility in life, a redo, let’s say, and being bummed about passing the chance earlier could prevent us from even spotting the opportunity this time around. What is more interesting, sometimes these pockets of possibility lay dormant, waiting for you to see them in this moment, right now. So look around, maybe it’s not over, maybe one thing ends and another can begin, or maybe you can choose your new beginning, the one you’ve always wanted.

Have a week of great choices.