When you regard your life as a rich, intricate tapestry, you are able to appreciate every little stitch, each individual visual depiction that combines to create the whole picture.
Have you ever visited a stately home and seen those vast, ancient wall hangings, dusty and faded, capturing a centuries-old scene, telling a story, explaining the past? Did you stand before them, admiring the intricacies of the art, the detail, the enormity of the piece? Did you feel moved by an ethereal connection with the past? That, by absorbing the image before you, you were magically transported to a time long ago; a time that previously had felt so out of reach, distant, other worldly?
What happened to you as a child, a teenager, in your twenties and thirties and forties, all of it has accumulated to make you this - the person you are today. The stories of your past are your tapestry; little moments of pain and joy and wonder and regret and celebration, that amalgamate and turn into this.
Turn into you.
We should never be restricted by the narratives of our lives but similarly, we should never resist what has been, wishing we had been different or more insightful or wiser in our youth. When we see the tapestry of our lives stretched out before us, we know that every stitch counts - every stitch constitutes an integral feature of the whole. The whole cannot exist without each and every stitch.
Perceive your life as a rich story and you will find yourself letting go of regret. See the tapestry that unfolds behind you, and you will discover forgiveness and acceptance of every step you ever took; every choice you made; every apparently self-destructive corner you turned. The people whose paths you crossed, the relationships that entangled you and made you cry so hard, the nights you spent sobbing into your pillow, silently willing the world to end...these moments in time are your stitches.
Stand back from the detailed images of your life's tapestry and understand your story. Love that story. Wonder at the drama of it, the ups and downs, the moments of victory and tragedy, and how, ultimately, that story brought you to feeling this... this beautiful emotion you are experiencing right now.
The emotion of being vital.