I have a strange story to tell.
For longtime readers, you know that I’ve mentioned my heart surgery here before.
I had heart surgery when I was 24. It completely rocked my world.
After I made it through it, I remember thinking, this is an event I will always remember. It will shape me. I’ll never get over it.
What I meant by that is that I thought I would never forget the details of the fateful event–the day it happened, how I felt, the name of my heart surgeon at the Mayo Clinic.
And for a while, that was true.
The memory was fresh in my mind–and remained that way for several years. It defined me, in a way.
But then something strange happened. I started to forget some of the details. And, oddly enough, this worried me. I thought, Why am I forgetting something so important? How can I not remember the last name of my surgeon?
It would sometimes take a few seconds for the full memory to come back to me. I realized then that something was happening.
Forgetting the details of this major event in my life did not mean it was no longer a major event in my life. It meant that, like everything, the meaning of events change over time. They take their proper place. Where once they dominated, now they loom in the distance as a mountain already climbed.
I can go back and visit the mountains in my life, but it’s not the same as the first time I surmounted them. Something is different.
Life has to be this way.
You can’t repeat the same event twice. The major events in your life will change you. They have to change you. And this, in turn, changes how you respond to them.
I never thought I’d get over my heart surgery. I thought it would be a mountain I’m always climbing, something that irrevocably linked me to a new identity. That’s true in some ways, but it’s also wrong in many others.
Maybe you have something that you can’t get over.
Maybe you think your life will always be a certain way from this point forward.
That’s how I felt.
Time changed it.
It changed me.
Distance can be healing if we allow it to be.
Keep moving forward.