A new relationship cannot be built upon the ashes of an old one.

            My friend Marlene invited me to go hiking with her one cool and sunny Sunday morning. We talked about just about everything and had a great time. During one of our conversations, Marlene shared that felt that as if she had lost herself. She said, “I’m not quite sure when it happened, but I lost HER and I want to go back and search for HER.” I listened as she spoke. The last few words really resonated within me. “…I want to go back and search for HER.”  I suddenly remembered some sound advice that a good friend had shared with me after my divorce; A new relationship cannot be built upon the ashes of an old one. I thought this statement only applied to romantic relationships. I found, however, that those wise words applied to just about any relationship. Even the relationship we have with ourselves.

Marlene had undergone many personal upheavals in recent years. The sudden death of her brother was especially hard for her to bear.  He was more than a sibling; he had been her mentor, her motivator. They were inseparable.  She came to the realization that in dealing with the loss of her brother, she had lost the adventurous, fearless, risk taker she once was.   How had she gotten lost along the way? What did she stand to gain in getting HER back? We began to delve deeper. Marlene felt that her former self was better equipped to handle the new journey she was on.  I could completely relate to what she said. There had been times when I felt as if the younger version of me was more regimented and more disciplined. She was more adept at balancing my professional and personal lives.  The caveat is that my former self was inexperienced in the ways of the world; she was naive and uncertain of herself

Marlene and I came to the realization that our former selves didn’t take into account the lessons we had learned, the experiences we’ve had, and the wisdom we’ve acquired along the way.  I shared my thoughts with my friend, “Although your former self may have been fierce and adventurous, she was more naive. The present you is wiser and steadfast in her desires. The present you is the result of a life journey that has helped you to sort out and clearly define what you want in life.”

Truthfully, I don’t think we ever lose “HER.”  Our former selves simply undergo a transformation.  Albert Einstein stated that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed from one form to another.  Our experiences help us to become better versions of our former selves.  Today, the turbulence has passed and Marlene is in a loving relationship with a wonderful man. They are expecting their first child in the spring.   She’s made many positive changes in her life and is coming into her own.

As we transition through life, our main essence will remain the same. Yet, with each passing season we will work out the kinks, ever improving the current version of ourselves.  We will continue with these upgrades until we transition from the platform of the living to the platform of eternal life.

Open your arms,  Marlene! A happier and wiser you has come home.

Have you come home?