never went to church by the streets
2022 / February 2022

You left me behind to remind me of you

Never went to Church by The Streets

Photo by Angela Baker Orenda on Unsplash

Do you ever find yourself saying something, or giving a particular look, and then realising you’ve just done exactly what your parents would have said or done? It’s something I think we all experience at some point in life. It’s also an idea reflected in this week’s song; Never went to Church by The Streets:

I guess, then, you did leave me something to remind me of you. Every time I interrupt someone like you used to, when I do something like you, you’ll be on my mind all through. ‘Cause I forgot you left me behind to remind me of you.

On the surface it’s a song about bereavement, something we will all experience in life. But when you start to think about it, it also reflects a much wider idea too. The concept that all of us are formed by our experiences and interactions.

In the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), people often use the phrase ‘the map is not the territory’. This is related to the idea that we use words to map out how we perceive the world. One of the powerful implications of this imagery is that it represents how the way we experience events and subsequently map them out in our thinking does not necessarily relate to the actuality of the events themselves. Yet, these maps are how we continue to use those events to shape our future interactions as it becomes our means of using experience to navigate future territory even though it may be an inaccurate representation.

To give a practical example of this, imagine going to a football match with a friend who supports the opposition team. The game is a thrashing, six-nil to the opposition. You have both seen the same game of football, but each of you will feel different about the result. Further you might also start speaking the game and drawing conclusions, ‘that is typical of us today’. You start to draw implications not just from the game itself (the tangible event) but also how you have viewed it (your mapping).

Or how about two children who have both grown up in the same household, been treated the same, and yet recall their childhoods in opposite ways. I’m sure we’ve all experienced similar stories.

The point is that it is not just our experience that shapes us, but how we have processed those experiences in the light of our other experiences, of which there are many, often unseen to others.

So, where does this leave us in relation to our song lyrics? Well, yes, our loved ones live on through the interactions we have had with them and how that has shaped us. But, with a unique twist, the way we have mapped, understood, and processed those experiences.

In other words, far more than us just being a sum of our experiences, we are master of them, choosing how we continue to allow them to form us and our interactions with the world. So, we are left more than just a legacy, but a foundation upon which to build.

Click here to book a coaching session with the author of Retune, Dr Dave Wood.

Author

dave@metanoeo.org.uk
Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.

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