Be not the slave of your own past. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Foresight is the ability to envision the inner journey from possibility to positive outcome. It is through this process of reflection that Visionmakers are able to see long-term possibilities, opportunities and consequences of action taken and not taken.
As mentioned in my previous post, in dark times such as these, vision is at a premium. Those that can discern a path forward despite difficult and volatile circumstances make the future that they want rather than the one they are dealt by Chance.
It is incumbent on Visionmakers to maintain the efficacy of vision. They guard against anything that restricts or restrains the power to see the future. The power to see the future is available to everyone and anyone. But it takes hard work and training to pierce the veil of the status quo and view the multiple worlds of possibility that exist beyond conventional viewpoints.
The first obstruction of foresight is unfinished business. Unfinished business is anything that has happened to us that we cannot reconcile or get over. This includes unhappy relationships, personal failures, loss that we cannot accept, and other experiences that have inflicted pain and produced despondency.
Of course, it is normal to grieve when such events visit us. But even grieving must come to an end. After a period of time, we must return to life and leave these brushes with Death behind us– more discerning, experienced, and mature as a result of our experience.
Unfinished business also includes the places where we did not have the courage to face experience. At the time, we were unwilling or unable to meet these events. Instead, we avoided the situation, the experience, or the people that frightened or challenged us, rather than meet them with the strong-heartedness and self-assurance that we could hold our own and resolve whatever problems may have been present.
This avoidance pattern always carries a gravity field. Vision becomes arrested by the past, which dramatically reduces our ability to see beyond our victimization. We cannot see our future through anything but the filter of our past mistakes.
Visionmakers see the past as a road of initiation rather than a road of victimization. With this perspective, the past is viewed as the perfect preparation for things yet to come. Despite failures, a Visionmaker forgives mistakes, missed opportunities, and failures. He or she recognizes that this is how learning happens. The past must be reviewed from a place of compassion and responsibility.
Compassion recognizes that even though we missed the mark, the journey is judged by its totality, not its episodes. Therefore, we take a long view of our progress, embrace our imperfections, learn from what happened, and seek to do it differently going forward.
Responsibility reminds us to clean up our mess, even if it occurred many years ago. It is always possible to repair or rectify the injuries that we may have committed or address the injuries done to us with the spirit of reconciliation. Those things that we cannot forgive, we continue to learn from but do not allow them to dictate our choices.
Unfinished business – the baggage of the past – is best left at the side of the path of meaning. It weighs too much, and requires too much attention and energy to drag forward.
Best to keep our eyes on the horizon rather than the rear-view mirror.
© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.