OUR LIFE TRAIN
By Diane Whitehead,
With kind help and agreement of my anonymous client
People, who know me, are aware of just how much I love meeting with my clients. I find they give me, on a daily basis, amazing and unexpected insights into life. This is one part of the ‘job’ I really love, the other is seeing the same clients move from the lowest, most frightened, anxious or whatever place they arrive in, to truly flying out of my office, as if on a cloud. I often find it quite emotional watching a person grow in emotions and self- awareness that leads to the opportunity for further self- development, if they choose.
I meet clients who find it so difficult to let go of pasts. It can be a mistake they made, comments they have said. Guilt is always in the past (guilt is a debt that doesn’t need to be paid – more of that in the future), it is shame or whatever. It clings like jam to a blanket (and that is the polite version of what my dad used to say!). So how do we let go, or even better, how do we not hang on, grasp it as if your life depended on it?
One of my clients recently gave me an amazing insight into how he lets go, or manages, his past. To some it may sound very cold and hard, but to me, well I found it so useful and insightful I asked him if I could use it in my work, to share it. Thankfully, he agreed, you know who you are, and I am so grateful. This is my version.
Life is a train, a long, long train with many carriages. We get on this train when we are born, but it is only as we mature, get older and a bit wiser, that we discern where we are and what it means to be on the train.
Each phase in life is a new carriage, we move through the carriages in our life, stopping to engage, chat and live with the people there, and when a phase is over, when we want to leave a phase behind; we move forward into the next carriage. All the people we want remain with us, all the important people in our lives, are already in the new carriage as we enter. Somehow, they are there, in the seats, waiting for us to join them. It is our move, not theirs, they do not need to move, they move on their own train.
Often we move on from, but not always, because of a crisis. We only move, though, when we have had learning. We can’t move until we have explored it and are willing to learn from it, this way nothing we do in life is wasted. No failure, only learning. If we want, we can pinpoint the exact time when the doors close, when we move.
When we move forward, into the next carriage, the next phase of life, the door closes, of its own accord, we do not close it, no one else closes it, and it stays shut, tightly shut, not to be opened again. No windows, no locks, no buttons, nothing, which is why we need to be at the right time to move on, after the learning.
No going back, no looking back and regretting. This doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy past memories, we just cannot revisit and stay, which is what most of us do when we dwell on the past, we live in the past, stay there.
So we move forward through our lives, through our train, with the people who we know and love with us, accepting us for us. If we meet new people who become important to us, they appear, usually at the end of the carriage, waiting for us, ready to be with us when we are ready.
My question to my client was ‘who is driving your train?’ His answer was, immediately, God. This is up to you to decide, I am not going to tell you who your driver is. Next Question: what happens when you get to the drivers carriage, the front? His answer; death. My answer, for me, is wisdom. To be able to look at the wider picture, the whole horizon, take everything in, the wonder of it all. To enjoy arriving. Is this self actualization? Is this an end or a beginning? I do not know, however what a wonderful question to think about, to ponder.
I loved this analogy of the Life Train, and realise it is very personal, but if we can take bits of what works for others, and make a small part of it our own, we can evolve something that works for us, and if possible share it with others to help them do the same.
Do you have a Life Train, or something you can share? Please do.
Kind thoughts and much love
Till next time, or when we meet.