We all have one. We got it when we were children, did you know that? Everyone’s chest looks a bit different of course, both inside and out. Some are shiny and new, and some are rather dented and scuffed. However, the method of collecting things, to put carefully inside the chest, is the exactly the same. Our memories of joys and hurts get stuffed in, one on top of another, year after year. It is just like Mary Poppins’ amazing carpetbag. It is infinitely expandable. We put those times we felt courageous, determined, and responsible, and those other more shameful times we were fearful, doubtful, and humiliated. We have wonderful examples of learning things the hard way….and the easy. The best of us and the worst of us goes into that box. We put in our milestone memories of birthdays, graduations, weddings, births, and deaths enmeshed with the feelings they represented. We are a unique combination of our successes, failures, and experiences. Some treasures made us stronger, some made us wiser, and some were regrets that we buried or just plain forgotten, but they were part and parcel of the human experiences that someone else would one day also need to navigate.
There is a lot of stuff in there. It’s time to pull them out, dust them off and see if some can be recycled. If we are the only ones that benefit from our treasures, then they will leave this world with us. What an incredible waste to let them go unused. We’ve been there and done that and need to pass it on, so others don’t have to recreate the entire proverbial wheel. Our treasure box can be shared with others in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine. Our stories are powerful. We will never be able to measure the impact of what doesn’t happen to a person because we share our treasures with them. It’s the butterfly effect. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. That applies to experiences as well as objects. The good and the bad and the ugly. The good can help us steer others toward, and the bad and the ugly can advise a different path. All of the contents of our treasures have relevance and application. Of course, we can only offer…what is accepted will be up to them. People with umbrellas still get a little wet. Keep pouring!
What might there be in that box about relationships, friendships, education, finances, careers, priorities? What have we learned about the long term effects faith, forgiveness, perseverance, self-confidence and our choices? Haven’t our self-reflections borne us new perspectives to old events? Haven’t we come to realize that some things really aren’t that important after all? Has age brought wisdom in any significant form? They say that hindsight is 20/20. That is a luxury to be found in a treasure chest and one that must be shared.
So, I challenge YOU….what’s in your treasure box?