I just finished reading the first draft of my fellow writer friend’s novel, the one I mentioned last night about the adulterer. In the end, what came across most strongly for me was the pure, unadulterated (pardon the pun) irony of the entire novel. To sum up, what people do to “protect” others often ends up hurting them more in the long run. It was good — not normally my favorite genre, but it was definitely good. Parts of it were excellent. There was a lot to be said about relationships there, which I won’t really go into here.
I got to thinking on the subject of words. I know what I just read was a good book because it altered my perception on some things, namely, its conclusion gave me some insight into some things about myself that I’ve known on a subconscious level but haven’t really entertained as consciously and as deliberately as I should.
Everyone has their insecurities. That’s just one of the cool treats we get for being human. Often we can’t see the forest through the trees when it comes to the reality of our lives, our situations, and our relationships. And sometimes those trees are old growth — they’ve been there forever. They might be deeply rooted in very old pain. They might have nothing to do with where we are now, but when we see them, all we can see is more of that same old tree. We miss out on the beauty of the forest that surrounds us.
The words I read at the end of that novel made me think about some other words I heard once: “A smart person learns from his own mistakes. A wise person learns from the mistakes of others.”
It’s incredibly difficult to take an active role in learning from others’ mistakes. Sometimes it’s hard to learn from our own. I’m thinking now about some of the words that have been seeded into trees throughout my forest, the trees that distract me from the forest at large, the ones whose roots I tend to trip over as I go. I think instead, I’ll wander off to that one over there, the one rooted in love and confidence. I will climb up into its branches and watch the forest.