Are there life experiences about which you can’t decide how to feel? Or you can’t settle on what you were supposed to learn from something/someone? You can see what happened through multiple lenses and come up with different lessons and sometimes alternate story interpretations entirely.
I’m STUCK in a process of choosing a perspective on something that happened to me recently.
The story is quite long, and I will share it in entirety on this week’s live show. Briefly, I’ll tell you that this story involves a chalk artist and a proselytizer. My son and I happened upon the chalk artist first and were soon joined by the proselytizer. By the end of this interaction, my son was in tears, and we were practically running to our car just to get home and process what happened. I assure you, we were not physically harmed in any way, but what transpired in the conversations with the 2 characters in this story require unpacking.
It can be unsettling to not understand what or why something unexpected happens. As a coach, I’ve developed internal muscles to learn how to see life experiences from multiple viewpoints. Seeing life events from varying perspectives can help to shift the energetic charge that can come with certain interpretations.
When I look back on any experience in my life, I can see, with the benefit of hindsight, that there were always multiple ways of seeing things in the moment. When I was going through career burnout, one of the perspectives was to blame my employers for not valuing me more and to look for evidence in my story to support that view. Another vantage point was that I could blame myself for choosing music as a career- why didn’t I heed the societal warnings that musicians can’t make a stable living in this field? And yet another viewpoint was that I could believe a story I told myself that if I were a better musician, maybe I wouldn’t have to work so hard.
At the time, I could believe all of those stories simultaneously. Now that time has passed, my perspective is that I wasn’t doing work that was inspiring me or aligning with who I had become in my life up to that point. In plant terms, my pot was too small for my root system. I wanted to grow, but my career wasn’t allowing me the space.
Hindsight has allowed my perspective to mature and settle. But at the time, it was uncomfortable to not know what my challenging experience was trying to teach me. I’m in that unsettled place with the story of the chalk guy and the proselytizer. And so, if you are in an unsettled place, unsure of what to do with the elements of an experience you’ve been given, this episode of Growing in Uncertainty unpacks how I’m working with my own interpretive uncertainty.