I’ve always known that everything shapes us – that our life’s experiences are given to us, not taken from us – even the events that don’t feel like gifts – to shape and mold us into people who (hopefully) experience life with a deeper sense of meaning, compassion, connection, and understanding.
But the idea that nothing is wasted was something I learned when I became a new mom. New and raw and unsure, a friend of mine uttered these words to me and suddenly I understood. Every morsel of knowledge I had, every seemingly insignificant experiences I had had, every friendship, argument, embrace, aha moment, inspiration, moments of fear, conscious and unconscious, ALL OF IT, would be useful in this new territory of becoming a wobbly, newborn parent. She told me to remember it in those desperate moments in the wee hours of the night when fear would enter my heart, when I bounced from bliss to uncertainty to unbelievably tired to bliss again. And it turned out to be true. I drew upon every single moment of my life leading up to motherhood and made use of it, drew on it, reawakened some of it, called on it to be of service.
And now I can see how my experience of motherhood and all that has happened since becoming a mother will serve me later in my life, perhaps in another significant transition, or perhaps just in ordinary life.
Either way. It’s what makes us wise, I think. This consciousness of knowing how meaningful it all is. How everything really does shapes us, how nothing is ever wasted, and how nothing is wrong with us either. We are just collecting wisdom along the way, every moment, every day. Yes, yes, yes.