what is the common denominator?

Have you ever been asked an in depth question about yourself that you had no idea how to answer? Not because you didn’t know the answer, but because you’ve simply never given it much thought?

That very rarely happens to me, certainly hasn’t for a good few years. Those who know me well may understand how my mind is sadistic in a way that it loves digging into wounds to find answers. I’ve never been afraid to ask myself hard questions, examine my actions, or analyse my behaviour – no matter how much difficult it may be to swallow.

Yet my view had always been restricted to the most recent experiences. I tend to break down incidences on their own, especially when it comes to relationships, and go through the issues piece by piece, filtering them through multiple lenses until I’m convinced I’ve done all I can and learnt all my lessons. Once I’ve reached that point, I pack them all up and place it in a box for storage into long term memory. 

Now I never realised how this approach, although thorough, is missing one key element which allows deeper understanding. By packing each experience away one by one, I’m failing to see the connection between experiences and stripping myself of the opportunity to identify the common denominator under all these boxes.

Up till now, I always thought there was no point in thinking about the past because I’ve learnt, grown and matured so much that I’ve become a different person. I refused to be defined by my past. Yet all this time, was this my blind spot? Is there something that continues to drive me towards the same decisions? Perhaps it’s time to unpack some of these memories, rip into old baggage, and make a big mess of it all so I can reexamine, recategorise, identify the underlying issues and learn to finally step out of these limitations!

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