Last Monday we made a list of our blessings, now let’s take a look at ourselves a little deeper.
Let's begin......with the hard stuff - Moving past "The Past"
By dealing with your past FIRST, you can clear your mind and move on to more positive things - like creating a plan of action for your dreams or clearing out your clutter.
No matter what it is that keeps you living in the past - it's just that - the past. Whether it's a bad childhood memory or a personal regret, living it over and over again just keeps you from living in the present.
Today’s assignment is simple: Think about what you regret most in your life. It could be something you've done or something you wish you had done. Then, think about what you could have done to change those regrets; and third, what you can do now to change those regrets into positive things.
For example, I wish that I had spent more time with my grandmother when she was in the nursing home. I was a new mom but I also only lived 15 miles from where she lived. I hated seeing her in her condition, hated to take the baby over there and just didn't take the time. I regret that I didn't put HER before ME. I could have gone more often then, but now she is gone and I cannot change it. What I CAN change is to visit my other grandmother more often and learn to give my time unselfishly. By changing my actions NOW, I can ease the guilt I feel about the past.
A few tips to help you get started: Think big and small when coming up with your regrets. Some will be obvious such as mine, but others may not be at the forefront. Really think about how important each event on the list is TODAY. If you can't change it, learn from it. If you can - then be brave - and change it. If you need to put it away for a stronger day, then do so. Just move away from it. You may feel powerless over your feelings, but that’s what is holding you back. You’ll be surprised, by just narrowing down, admitting that you feel regret and then facing your feelings, how easier it is to move on.
Facing your feelings could mean any of the following:
• Simply writing down specific regrets/actions is a powerful tool. It’s right there, in black and white. Look over you list. Accept the list. Throw the list away and move on.
• If your list is too long and too heavy to deal with all at once, take the list and put it away. Every 30 days, pull it out and read over it again. Have your feelings changed about one of the things? Cross it off your list. Imagine how empowered you will feel when you pull the list out and there is nothing left to cross out. Visualization is a powerful tool.
• Call, write or email the people you’ve hurt or offended. If the event still lingers in your minds, it probably does in theirs too. A simple “I know it happended a long time ago but I am really sorry for________” can work miracles. The offended party is probably ready to put it in the past too. Humility can cleanse the soul. By admitting your faults to those you hurt, without doing so becasue you have to, but just out of your heart, really shows that you mean what you say. Anyone can apologize when confronted. Apologizing from the heart instead out of guilt makes all the difference.
• Maybe something happened in your life that you had no control over. You can’t reason with something or someone else’s actions. You can only take control of your own. Bad things happen. Often, for no reason what so ever – you can’t change these things/people. Take hold of your fears. Reliving terrible events does not change the fact that it happened, it just keeps you from living your own life.
• Realize the things you cannot change and stop feeling guilty. If the person you’ve hurt has passed away or moved away – accept that you cannot personally cleanse your soul to them and move on. You can’t change it. You can’t apologize. You can learn your lesson and move on to be a better person.
• Is your regret something you passed on early in life? Make a list of things you wanted to do when you were younger and place it next to your computer. By putting your dreams in front of you, you are more likely to take actions.
Everyone has regrets. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone hurts those around them at some point in their lives. You can’t become a recluse because of these actions. Turn them into positive things and see how lighter you feel.
What are things you think you can do to lighten your heavy conscious?
Mondays in the Simple Life Series are for YOU (and me). I will let you know what I am doing to make simple changes in my own life. I hope you follow along and try some of these steps yourself. Please let me know how you are coming along by leaving comments at the bottom of each post. Tell me what works, what doesn’t, if you are bored – whatever – we are learning and growing together. Hopefully by the end of this process, you will have a better view of your health, your money, your lifestyle, your dreams, your regrets and use these findings to make steps to improving your life overall.