Forgive Yourself First
Release the need to replay a negative situation over and over again in your mind.
Don’t become a hostage to your past by always reviewing and reliving your mistakes.
Don’t remind yourself of what could have, or would have been.
Release it and let it go.
I can’t remember which one of my friends posted the above quote by Les Brown on Facebook, but I’m sure glad they did. I admit it took a few weeks before the thoughts and words came to me; but I knew I wanted to write something about it. So here goes.
Forgive Yourself First In Order to Move Forward. By replaying events of the past, you keep it in the present. And, therefore, you will never be able to move forward.
How long ago is the past? Is it a decade, a year, a week, a day, an hour, or even a minute ago? Regardless of the span of time, even a second ago, it is now in the past. Or is it? If we reach into the past and take an event and churn it over and over, and re-examine it, it is no longer in the past…it is in the present, and we relive it as though it is happening NOW. We take it out of its storage, examine it, talk about it, and caress it fondly. It becomes that thing we treat like a cherished possession.
Now it is fresh and new and current. We can’t move forward if we can’t leave it where it belongs – in the past.
Dredging up the old
What are these things we dredge up? They are our mother, father, sister, brother, ex-girlfriend or wife, ex-boyfriend or husband, should have turned left, should have turned right, should have been home before curfew, any number of things that lay dormant in our mind. We tell ourselves that if we don’t speak about them, then we can keep them from returning. We sometimes consciously think we have conquered these negative thought, only to find out the sub-conscience is still storing them for future review at any given time.
Was it your fault? It doesn’t matter! It happened and all you need to do is learn from it and grow from it.
Don’t be a prisoner of your past. Don’t continue to blame others for what you perceive to be a wrong done to you in the past. This ain’t no “somebody done somebody wrong” kind of song.
The Bad News and the Good News
But how can you stop these thoughts? Bad news – you can’t. But what you can do is shorten their duration. Recognize these thoughts as soon as they happen. Acknowledge them and then release them. Because if you don’t acknowledge them, your mind will keep them front and center until you do. As time goes by, the duration will become shorter and shorter until they aren’t even a fleeting thought. How long that takes is up to you. There is no magic wand that will do the work for you.
Don’t blame others. They aren’t responsible for your happiness or your peace of mind. Quite frankly, they probably don’t even remember the event you continue to cling to.
I’m currently reading a book by Dolores Cannon, The Custodians. Although it is not a book for everyone, I find the idea of UFOs and aliens quite fascinating. I only bring this book up because in it she talks about tapping into the sub-conscious mind of her subjects. She indicated that most of her subjects consciously recall events of the past in a much different way than what the sub-conscious has stored them. This tells me that consciously we have either omitted some facts or embellished those areas that we think will help us deal with an event. Either way, some of the negative events we are holding onto may be less or more than we remember them to be.
And I admit I am not exempt from those occasional strolls down memory lane. But my hike is getting much shorter.
I hope the distance between your encounters shorten as you continue to grow. As one friend wrote me, “Not always an easy task…but important for growth.