Mourning the loss of who you thought you would be

cemetery 8

(Image Courtesy of the Great Robin Lake)

We start out in life thinking we are going to be a certain thing.

We make plans. We make choices. We move in a direction. We become invested in who we are going to be.

Sometimes dreams don’t work out. Plans change. Choices are made. Sometimes we fail. Maybe we succeed at different things. Our journey took us in interesting directions, and the people we met and experiences we had created forks in the road. We took some of those forks.

We are “here” today, right where we ended up. Not to say that “here” is a bad place.

In some ways “here” is better than we expected, in other ways maybe not as good.

However, there was a lot of us in the original plan. It was part of our story. Part of our narrative about who we were, and how we described ourselves.

And if, as I recently realized about my own original plan, it was wrapped up in a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of ego and pride, part of it remains with us years or decades later.

A few recent events triggered some interesting emotions surrounding an old plan. What I thought was long gone, had just been lying dormant. The freshness of the ego and pride associated with these events caught me a little off guard.

But I had to ask,

“Why are these emotions still here years later?”

“These plans, or goals are long dead, how did they return?”

It was in asking the questions that the answer came into focus.

Long dead.

What do we do when someone or something dies? We mourn.

Mourn:to feel regret or sadness about (the loss or disappearance of something).

When we don’t mourn, losses remain.

Even when we move forward, un-mourned losses lay dormant.

I never took the time to mourn the loss of who I thought I would be. Life moved forward, the plans changed. Life turned out better than the original plan.

But the un-mourned losses remained.

Where has your life taken you? Where have your plans changed, and your dreams shifted?

Where should you be mourning the loss of who you thought you would be?

Mourn. And may mourning help you move forward in your journey.

About Carl Weber

Carl Weber, is the owner and founder of Carl Weber Consulting, a consulting group that helps businesses, non-profits, and individuals understand themselves, hire and manage well, and become great leaders. Carl worked in local government for more than ten years, as the Town Administrator of a few towns in NH. Once upon a time he was a search and rescue swimmer for the US Navy. Carl holds Bachelors’ Degrees in Political Science & Community Development and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy. Carl is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Motivators Analyst (CPMA). Carl regularly teaches on human factors and the relationship of behavior and leadership styles, as well as motivation, coaching, leadership challenges, and failing as a leader. His passion is to help leaders in their lifelong journey to finish well, to combat and work with their inner voice, and to live a meaningful story worth reading. Carl lives in Southern New Hampshire with his wife Amanda and together they are raising a small tribe of four young (somewhat crazy) women with the goal of unleashing them on the world to change it for the better.
This entry was posted in Being Thankful, Change the World, Knowing Yourself, Random Thoughts, Your Dreams, Your Story and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Mourning the loss of who you thought you would be

  1. Iain says:

    Because we have tend to have so much invested in who we thought we would be/where we thought we’d go, it is harder to mourn because it requires us to face the finality/death of them. It requires actually admitting the loss and passing of what we hoped so dearly for.

    I recently did a study on joy, and one of the lessons was on mourning and how important it is. It was so powerful. I never thought of the link between mourning and joy as being so intertwined, but in allowing myself the time to mourn what has passed by or been missed, I free myself to enjoy what is.

    There is much to celebrate in the life that has emerged despite the loss of the life that I thought I’d live.

  2. muddybride1 says:

    Thank you for this one, Carl. So necessary. So painfully freeing. So timely. Thank you.

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