Starting Again vs. Starting Over

The power of words. We underestimate them. I’ve been thinking a lot about language and semantics lately. How having the courage to take unedited thoughts and synthesize can influence and inspire. How taking unrelated topics, identifying themes, and categorizing can turn stream-of-consciousness into a manifesto. It’s insanely powerful.

On my drive in the other morning, I heard the radio broadcaster talk about starting again. They talked about getting back on track with things that have fallen away – things like calling that long-lost friend you just never get around to connecting with, rekindling a romantic flame that has waned, or deciding to put yourself back in the equation and take a walk to clear your head. It was presented simply: nothing is too far gone that you can’t start again.

It caught my attention because the only concept of do-over that I run with is “starting over”. You know, the “wipe the slate clean, erase the past, fresh start” mentality. I’ve got a PhD in “starting over”, with about 1,000,000 failed attempts.

What if we decided to be kinder and gentler with ourselves, looked at an area that we struggle with, and said, “Yeah, this space needs a bit of attention. I’ve had a tough go with things, and it’s important enough to focus on. I’m going to start again because I am worth it.”

Whoa, right? Imagine the fill-in-the-blanks where you have had a tough go. Addiction, relationships, food, vulnerability, anger, jealousy, control, trust. What if we could do that for ourselves, and others? To encourage people to simply start again without starting over.

Our identities are wrapped up in the stories of our lives. We can’t truly extricate pieces of our being, or our memories, or our accomplishments, or our life lessons to start over. They are a part of us, for better or worse and I now believe pretending they aren’t does a disservice to everyone.

Today, I celebrate a friend who formally adopted her foster child. After 1,299 days in foster care, she found her forever home. I think about “starting again” vs. “starting over” for her… to try to erase or not acknowledge her past, her heritage, and her stories that got her here would be a disservice to who she will become and to everyone who has had the privilege of watching this love story unfold. Chapter 1 of her life story has no less meaning than Chapter 2 will. Chapter 1 led her to Chapter 2, and her future is so bright!

So in honor of my friend, her newest daughter and her newly expanded family, I invite you to “start again” in an area of your life that you have been avoiding or neglecting. Get up and try again. Try again differently. Never give up.

The power of words. We underestimate them.

Pure joy!

QOTD:  “The courage of living is –
to take risks,
to fail,
to get up, and to try again.
Try again differently.”
~ Naide P Obiang

Mood: Celebrate – Kool & The Gang

Share: What is an area of your life that you want to “start again” in? What’s stopping you?

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