As I look into my “mirror” and reflect on my life, most of what I see is what has happened, not what is happening or going to happen. It’s also up to me to decide to either accept what happened or let it go.
How often do you carry around the weight of “mistakes,” misjudgments, mishaps or misfortune? I used to pride myself on getting a large suitcase of “woe-is-me” and pack it, lock it and carry it with me hoping someone would notice or care. Why did I do that? Can’t tell you…that was yesterday and I’ve let it go.
Have I let everything in my past go? Not a chance; it’s impossible. We are who we are because of our past and how we’ve dealt with life and its foilables, fallacies, fancies and fun. Our birth parents will always be our birth parents, our hometown the same. I can bitch about my relationship with my mother or I can accept that she did the best job she could with the information she had at the time; move on. The latter worked for me; it released tons of self pity too.
Today will be “yesterday” tomorrow – that’s a mouthful – and I can design my day to make certain that I look back on today with glee, gratefulness and graditude. (It’s an alliteration day!) It’s early yet, so who knows, but I plan on getting projects accomplished – like this blog – and calls made, social media connections written, etc. Each day that passes and I just lollygag around my office or pretend that fortune’s going to come knocking at my door – that winning lottery ticket is only a $1.00 away – I inevitably miss some opportunity or connection. I want to make something happen. I want to look back on this “yesterday” and smile and commend myself on a job well done. Don’t you?
We all have a past. Some people we look at we may envy: 1. Gifted 2. Beautiful/handsome 3. Rich 4. Happy 5. Successful 6. You can add something here. Others we view with relish: They make us look good and our lives blissful in comparison. What if we only look at ourselves through our eyes and make decisions based on a bright future and how to achieve it, instead of with regret? I have multiple friends who are better looking – okay, maybe only one or two – and more successful. Some are happily married – or pretend to be – some are truly happy with their lives, future and fortune. I can envy them or I can just hang around with them and act as though their good fortunes will rub off on me. I can also add something to their lives.
I have a few regrets, but I let them go. If I focus on them then I neglect what I can do: nourish my today and tomorrows with renewed vigor and excitement. Every day isn’t wondeful, but every day gives me pause as to my blessings; some I may be ignorant of at the time. Ask yourself what happened yesterday, last week or last month that made you a better person today? What builds your character? (I’ve said if I could bottle all the “mistakes” I made that have helped me build character I’d be a millionnaire!) Boy, do I have character though.
Some decisions we make may be precarious at best. Some stanglehold us into a position we wrestle with for too long. Some bring us peace. Some just are. I can’t take back anything from yesterday. Even if I could, I’m not certain it would change my life for the better…or the worse.
When we lift up our heads and make ourselves proud of who we are then we accept ourselves – boils and all. What a wonderful legacy. Oh, yes, I’ve lost business, status, opportunities, a few friends along the way, a few lovers too, and I’ve also gained business, status, opportunities, friends and lovers. What do I want to exert energy on? The losses or the gains? Obviously the gains. This writes like something Pollyannaish, but I also know that it’s cheaper than a case of wine and therapy. It’s also my decision.
“If only’s” just create havoc in our hearts and heads. If only I’d moved to x. If only my boss had quit. If only my parents had…. If only I were blonde…! Well, none of these happened and looking back won’t change that. My magic wand is in storage for a few weeks, but I’ll bring it out when I’m desperate…who knows when that day will come. I want the “only I” to take center stage: Only I created that brilliant….Only I have my gifts and talents to share…. Only I can give this to them. Only I create the best for me and others.
Looking back helps us realize what bridges we crossed and how we arrived at certain destinations; how the journey looks. It can also drag us under the asphalt if we let it. It’s up to us to determine the positive reflections of our yesterdays in order for today and tomorrow to shine.