“You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully.” ~ Anthony Robbins
Do you ever wake up in the morning refreshed but confused? When everything is perfect but then a teeny-weeny thought creeps in and asks, “Aren’t you supposed to be upset about something?” And you start driving around your brain in search of a memory of something that did upset you the day before? Maybe it was a relationship issue, a bill that came in the mail that needs to be paid (last week), or an assignment or favor you’d rather avoid. Whatever it is, as soon as you remember, your perfectly refreshed and anxious-for-the-day-to-start self suddenly feels burdened.
Do you know what I mean? That’s how I used to live. It has been a very long time since I broke that habit, and it feels wonderful!
What if you started the habit of forgetting?
I’m not suggesting that we forget “stuff”, just letting go of the negative feelings associated with them that tie us to the past for no good reason – like an anchor to our ship that was made to sail not sit moored in a harbor, exposed to the storms of our emotions.
It had been less than 24 hours since our little rift at work (the one I told you about HERE) and my boss called, asking me to pick him up and head out to a new client. His car had recently bit the dust, so, for the time being I pick him up and drive him home. That used to be a lot of fun, but then that day happened and things got weird and uncomfortable.
But it was a new day and I was in a good mood. So I got in my little yellow Beetle, started it up, hit the hula dancing girl on the dashboard ’cause it makes me smile, and started out for his house.
And then the Battle of the Thoughts began:
“Don’t you remember how upset you were with him yesterday?”
“But I’m not upset anymore.”
“What are you? A doormat?”
“No. Well, maybe it’ll look that way. I don’t know! Maybe I should act mad?”
“But I don’t know how to do that.”
“It’s going to be an awfully quiet drive!”
“I like quiet.”
“You’re going to get a stomach ache repressing those emotions!”
“But I don’t want to feel mad anymore. Let’s just get there and see what happens.”
I pulled in and jumped out as he came down the driveway. We had a quick laugh and a mutual, “I’m sorry,” and that was that.
Yesterday, a week later, he came out and looked suspiciously in the car. I was in the passenger’s seat.
“You’re driving. The keys are on the seat.”
He’d told me the day before that he’d found a truck and that he needed to practice driving a manual since he was going for a test drive soon and didn’t want to look like a beginner since he hadn’t driven a shift for 8 years.
“Really?!” he smiled.
“Yup. All day. And you can call me if you need to borrow it for more practice time.”
As he drove our hearts were healed. He apologized over and over again for the grinding sounds when he made mistakes, and for the multiple stalls on hills, but I kept quiet because I know how it feels to be learning (relearning) something new.
I could tell that his opinion of me had changed. We still have really solid boundaries when it comes to playing – I’ll wait for cues from him on that one. But we found a new beginning, a fresh start devoid of negative baggage from one experience the week before.
I have people in my life that sit me down regularly and remind me of the past. They want another explanation and clarification of words and events from long ago. At first (yes, every time) I stare and wonder what it must feel like to hold on to a memory so tightly. It takes so much mental effort to recall an event from the recesses of my brain, but the tragedy is that my emotions that were attached to that memory come effortlessly with it, and before I know it I’ve been masterfully anchored to the past again and the Battle of the Thoughts begin anew:
“Explain it again.”
“No! Don’t engage! Walk away! RUN!”
It’s quite an exercise in self-control! I don’t explain things anymore. I just listen to feelings expressed, knowing that it must be a nightmare to live in the past, never feeling like life is getting better because of imaginary splinters that fester and ruin the present.
I’ve learned what a gift it is to show up whole and ready to move forward. I get funny looks sometimes from people who expect me to be upset. I just choose to spend my time on Earth differently. Sure, I could dredge up plenty to be upset about. But that would rob me of a great moment with you – the you that you are today not the one I knew yesterday.
It’s really quite fun.
Most things are when you learn to live in the present, acknowledging feelings, but not letting them rule you.
But first we have to learn to forget why we really don’t want to!
THEN and only then does life flow unhindered.
So much more to say, but 7-yr.-old Kenny wants his turn on the computer! Have a good one and have some great adventures. I am rope-swinging into the pond today! Wish you could come!