Several decades ago I lived in San Diego when I was on active duty with the US Navy. I lived off-base in neighborhoods where I could afford the rent. As an enlisted person without the advantage of the teachings from Science of Mind, I believed that those living arrangements were all I could afford.
It’s hard to describe my feelings this week as I returned to San Diego and hailed a cab to a luxury hotel where a room reservation waited in my name.
As I surveyed San Diego from a corner room on the 19th floor with a panoramic view of the bay and the historic Gaslamp District, I marveled at how far I have come, professionally and perhaps even more significantly – personally.
Professionally I have moved from the entry-level healthcare practitioner who was able to make a little more than minimum wage, to a health care executive who mentors various versions of myself as a leader in my profession.
Most significant to my transition from a pessimistic enlisted person, I now know how critical it is to holistic success to pay close attention to my thoughts, and “default” beliefs.
I wish I could share a peek into my perspective when I left San Diego all those years ago and lay it side by side with my current one: the difference is so stark, and instructive.
I don’t regret the past; it taught me the things I needed to arrive where I am today. I don’t spend time wondering why I didn’t “know better” then – “when we know better, we do better”.
For some of us it takes a bit longer than for others, but that’s ok. Life is a journey; a process and not a destination.
I am grateful to have this “full circle” opportunity to examine how far I have come from the point where I began my adult life and I am thrilled that the venue is so beautiful, offering me the opportunity to see the opulence that right thinking can bring into our lives.
I am also grateful to that gritty, strong young woman who hung on through some tough times and who, in spite of a lot of reasons not to, found a way to believe in herself.
I see reflections of her at times in others. I’m especially kind and encouraging when I do, for I know that they have the opportunity to turn things around, but need to find that opportunity for themselves. In the meantime, it may be my smile, or words of encouragement or belief in her that sustains her until she can find the strength within to know it for herself.
And so It is.