We are rounding the corner into the 3rd month of the year, a time of year when people begin to realize either success-or not-with the changes they vowed to set in motion for making 2016 their best year yet. Ok, maybe not their best year, but at least a year they would be happier, or more loving, or communicate more honestly…..you get the picture. As Dr. Phil would say, “how’s that working for ya?”.
A dynamic sure to create feeling helpless or hopeless, is vowing to change something in yourself or your life and then not setting up support and strategy for creating a change. Not wanting to be unhappy will not make you happier nor will wanting to be more loving with your partner be of much use when your partner does that thing which triggers your best imitation of nails on the chalkboard!
Looking in your life’s rear view mirror for how things were-good or bad-keeps you from being present and taking action for creating outcomes you want today. Beating yourself up for how you “shoulda, coulda, woulda” or how you made that mistake, only keeps a past wound from healing into wisdom present today. So what can you do if you find yourself looking in the rear view mirror of your life?
1. Acknowledge you are beating yourself up for something in your past. We too easily discount how powerful our thoughts and beliefs are in what we call “our experience” in life. It truly is not what happens that takes you down, but what you tell yourself and get back up from a sucker punch in life. The story of your life is yours to write, a gift which comes with your precious gift of life. Do you like the story you are choosing to tell about yourself and your life?
2. Take time to really feel what you are feeling. We have been taught to be wary of our emotions and labeling your emotions is not caring for them or yourself. An emotion is like a freight train-engine in the front, container cars in the middle, and caboose at the end. An emotion can be powerful, contain past experiences and unresolved power, and offer you wisdom in the end. The conductor of the train? You! Do you know how to conduct yourself in your life for receiving and learning from your emotions in life?
3. Throw out your rear view mirror. Beating yourself up for a past mistake or choice keeps you from living a better choice today. Your past is for learning from and your present is your opportunity to try again. I know it may be difficult to believe you get second chances on matters which even today hurt. But Nature has taught me an undeniable truth-life naturally moves forward for offering you more experiences of beauty and love.
4. Let it go. Many a time I have realized I am “circling the drain”-a thought is going ‘round and ‘round in my head, making me feel badly about myself or another person. Once I realize I am doing so, I take a few deep breaths and remind myself I can choose peace or war. Choosing peace requires me to let go of the destructive thoughts. And bullying myself with a thought will keep me from being able to address what is troubling me.
Let yourself receive the present of each new day, much as you were gifted with another day this leap day and year. Haven’t succeeded so far this year in your vow to be happier this year? Haven’t quite got that loving feeling back on the front burner? Then leap! with courage into re-committing to do so today, with some support and strategy in place for realizing your success, and your best year yet!