I spent a portion of the past week pondering last year’s personal events. There are one or two that will probably require more analysis. Mistakes and wrongs, like the other stuff that have happened will likely get stuck in the mind for awhile longer than necessary. It’s easy to get caught up in overthinking to some degree. There are also some missteps that took place long ago that we remember vividly. Old rivalries and blatant trespasses also intrude when we least expect or desire them to do so.
Instead of progressing with life in the present moment, we get caught up in negative nostalgia. Old resentments we believed had been resolved, return to consciousness. Old recollections drag our minds back to the past. The disappointment, regret, or sadness returns. We can choose to wallow in self-pity, or we can move on again.
If further personal forgiveness and resolution are no longer physically possible, I set a time limit for self-pity then regather my wits and resume with the business of being present in the moment.
When self-blame or resentment of others take front stage in our minds, these negative feelings hold us back from progress and our optimum levels of potential. Release and relief are necessary in order to effectively move on. Forgiveness without denial remains as the best tool to release ourselves from thoughts that drag us down. It’s good to remember that we responded in the manner of how well we were prepared or how unprepared under the circumstances. 20/20 hindsight about events and occurrences affects our present opinions regarding our actions and reactions. Don’t forget that we did not have the skills nor wisdom then, that we now have.
If the setback or event is more recent, the initial sting is still present and remains unprocessed. There may be confusing concerns about whether or not we’re failures or belief that we allowed someone else to harm us. We simply might not yet be ready to go public with our worries and feelings, so we clam up. Now might be the time to ask ourselves if the time is right for us to finally open up to a trusted friend or licensed professional so as to let go of the emotional blockages.
If we are the ones who made the mistake or caused the distress, the time to sincerely apologize and make amends has come. If the wronged party is no longer reachable, nor alive, this might be the perfect opportunity to help others in need. This is a good way to express remorse and meaningfully pay retribution for our errors.
When we fully realize the implications of the past, and take the lessons learned to heart, we are better able to recognize painful scenarios within the broader scope of society and the world.
It is impossible to undo past actions–whatever happened has happened. It’s time to release what does not serve us emotionally yet not deny it either. This brings us strength and vision. We take the opportunity to be more hopeful and to productively engage our minds and bodies. The fresh year is a good time to take meaningful steps to move on.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor, author, guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Johnny Cash. “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
It is definitely difficult to let go of these feelings
I wish I knew a shortcut.
Love this, and very true
No matter how much we learn from our mistakes, we will continue to make them. Some mistakes will be new. Some will be repeats. Self forgiveness is important as well.
Excellent post, Jay. Wise advice. Holding onto resentment and anger only breeds more, thus working through them, though difficult, is a worthwhile endeavor.
Wise words. These regretful thoughts come to me in the middle of the night sometimes, from events that happened long ago. I have a chant I’ve adapted from an article I read: Let it go, let it be. Admitting to oneself there is nothing to be done at this point, your suggestion to do some good, pass it on, is helpful.
Acceptance isn’t always easy.
love this blog I have become a new follower look forward to reading more!
An honest appraisal, good advice to start the New Year.
Here’s a quick tip. When people “like” a series of 44 consecutive posts of a blog within the space of a few minutes, we understand that the person clicking “like” did not read most or even any of the “liked” posts. I am one of those people who do not like long strings of “likes” such as that. I write in hopes that my readers will actually read what I have spent plenty of time and thought composing. I do not post so as to acquire large numbers of “like” statuses. I am pleased when I receive even one “like”. It then seems that the reader has actually read my work. Just saying that I’m not blogging as a popularity contest nor do I make a single penny writing. Thanks.