A bad day, a fight with a friend, a rude client, a harsh criticism. We try to put things back in perspective by telling ourselves that these things don’t matter; we can release the way they made us feel,and yet we rewind our minds and see, hear, smell and taste them over and over- reliving every nuance. Imagining what we would say if we could do it over.
We have all looked back and felt- “If only I could let that go”. We identify incidents in our pasts; memories we keep reliving; pains inflicted upon us that we can’t seem to move beyond… we know if we could just process and release these things somehow, we could evolve; we could become happier, healthier, and more of who we thought we would always be if only… We rob ourselves of today by replaying yesterdays.
Our day to day lives are filled with any number of examples of how we beat ourselves up for not being good enough- and beat others up for perceived slights, indiscretions, and insults. These thoughts make up a good portion of the background soundtrack of our daily thought habits.
If we could silence the noise we could find love,peace, relief.
So how do we do that? How do we “let go”?
The answer is deceptively simple: first we must realize that all of the painful thoughts we have about how things should be, or could have been are just that: thoughts. And although we do most of our thinking in an automatic way, we can CHOOSE new thoughts. We can choose to stop replaying past hurts. We can choose how we respond in any situation. Once we realize that thoughts are chosen (even those thought patterns that have become habit for us, were once chosen) we can embrace the full power of choosing to entertain new thoughts.
The powerful act of letting go of unhealthy thought patterns will shift the way we experience our lives moment to moment every day. The past is done. The future is uncertain. All we achieve by focusing all of our thought ahead or behind us, is to rob ourselves of the joy of NOW.
And NOW is truly the only time we have to be happy, feel love, give love, and create peace.
When you hear yourself blaming or judging, be aware that those thoughts are stealing your chance to be happy NOW. Interrupt those thoughts. Replace them. This is a conscious and purposeful exercise in creating new thought habits that will free you from the pain and frustration of your old habits.
No one is saying it is going to be easy or quick to shift from old to new behaviours. You have spent years doing things the way you do them now. Be patient with yourself and recognize that every time you make a new choice in the way you view your world, you are removing one more brick from the wall of habit that has been holding you back.