Have you ever had a day that you would’ve liked to erase and have as a do-over? Somewhere it took control and seemingly forced you along its path, with no exit signs. How can we find our way back to a new road on a fresh map?
Sometimes it seems as if our life maps are set in cement and we must follow the course we set in motion, regardless of the consequences to our emotional, physical or spiritual health. Commitment is good. Perseverance is good. But what happens when we are so driven by agendas or choices that our route has become rigid to the point of harmful and has also left common sense behind? Or worse, our decisions have propelled us into a skewered perspective and twists life out of focus.
In the Doctor Who series version of A Christmas Carol, the doctor cannot budge the hard-hearted Kazran Sardick to save a space liner. Kazran’s map of bitterness has set his heart on a trajectory that he refuses to change. So The Doctor adds another set of life experiences showing new positive memories alongside the stony ones the old man harbors. Kazran remains sarcastic and apparently unmoved, openly challenging The Doctor’s abilities to change his mind or stop his decision to allow the crash.
But gradually he has been affected by mercy and love and grace, and when the final moment of truth comes he has changed so dramatically from himself that he is unable to reverse the controls, which will only respond to the bitter version of himself. The actions set in motion by his earlier self will not acknowledge the new. He now has a heart of truth. He must plot a new map for his life.
Take a special memory from your protagonist’s past and present the original intent as opposite to her understanding. Do one from a positive reversal and one from a negative. What would change as a result in her current choices?