Letting The Past Off The Hook

Mind Control

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While sitting in my patio this morning, a thought randomly crossed my mind, and it really upset me.  That thought brought other unpleasant thoughts, and they were all related to each other.  They all shared a common bond.

I believe that mornings set the pace for the rest of the day, so It’s important to be cautious of how we spend our mornings.  If the day starts off bad, that will likely be the trend for the rest of the day.  Because I allowed unfavorable thoughts to enter, and occupy my mind, my day didn’t go as well as it could have. And, that was my own fault.

On the job, everyone that I spoke to really got on my nerves.  (This isn’t uncommon, but today, it was magnified by 1,000.)  I’m sure that my aggravation was extremely legible to my customers, but I didn’t care.  This attitude was the theme of my entire shift — which felt more like sixteen hours than eight.  I kept watching the clock and the calendar, as I counted down the days that I have left before I’m off to start the next volume of my life.

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“44 days, and its SEE YA SUCKERRRS!!!”

Finally, the shift ended, and I was still in a funk.  I was glad that both of my sons had to work, and were not home when I got off.  Since I’ll be leaving soon, I really want to enjoy them, not take my hard days and bad attitudes out on them.  Especially when my issue has nothing to do with them.  I decided to get out of the house and get some air.  So, I took a walk.

At first, I was still kind of pissed about that thing from 2,000 years ago, which involved people that I don’t even have contact with anymore.  I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings, as I usually do.  I was just walking blindly.  All I could see was the growing rage that I had at that moment about things that I can’t change, and probably no one even cares about.

Butterflies Saved The Day!

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I love butterflies.  I can’t be anything other than happy when butterflies and/or sunflowers are in my presence.  Even pictures of butterflies and sunflowers can change my mood from not so good, to great.  While I was walking, three yellow butterflies flew past me.  (I’ve been telling people that yellow butterflies have been following me, and everyone keeps telling me that they haven’t seen any.  Either they aren’t paying attention, or the butterflies are a figment of my imagination.  But anyway…) The sight of the butterflies put a smile on my face, and I could then see all of the beautiful things that were around me; like the flowerbeds, the trees, the beautifully manicured lawned.  The sun.  The sky.  The Universe! My attitude had done a 180.

While in the newfound calmness of my day, I continued to walk.  I thought about how I not only allowed negative thoughts to enter my mind and fester, but I also gave them control of me, as well as my day.  I know better than that.  Since I now know that I can be blindsided by my own negative thoughts, and that my guard is not always up (I’m usually a very guarded person), I had to do something about it.  I had to figure where these ideas where coming from, and how to prevent this from happening again.

As I continued to walk, and in a much better mood, surrounded by beautiful things, I figured it out: I’ve got to let those people off the hook.

It’s not always enough that we clean up our lives, rid ourselves of toxic relationships, or even move away, if we are going to drag excess baggage into each new situation.  We can do all of those things and still be miserable and unhappy.  Many of us are carrying grudges and ill feelings about people and situations, and we don’t even realize it until it sneaks up and catches us off guard (and ruin our day).  These are the types of things that can pile up and block progress.  You can’t allow that to happen.  You’ve worked too hard and have come too far, to block your own progress.

 

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It’s been said a million times, and by a million people, that we have to learn to forgive ourselves. In my opinion, that’s not always true.  “Ourselves” don’t always deserve to be forgiven.  But, we can let ourselves off the hook.  In other words, recognize your offense and be aware of that you are capable of whatever you have done — but don’t dwell on it.  Let it go.  The same goes for those who offend you.  You don’t have to forgive anyone for unforgivable offenses. But, you have to let them off the hook so you can get on with your life —  sans negative thoughts about they did, didn’t do, said, or what happened.  All of those things are past tense — you can’t do anything about those things.  However, you can stop being angry about them.  You mind is very powerful.  Probably, more powerful than you believe.  You have the power to shake it off, think of something else.  Tell yourself that by letting events from the past ruin your day, you’re giving power to people who have wronged you.  Do what you have to do to let go, and train yourself not to allow that kind of energy to occupy of your headspace.

For the rest of my walk, I chanted:

As of todayI’ve let all of those people, and all of those situations off the hook.  I will never again give them control.  And, as of today, the past has let me off the hook.”

Should another ugly memory threaten to ruin my day, I’ll chant those statements as many times, and as loudly as necessary. I will protect my peace, and move on to the next opportunity.

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”

~Friedrich Nietzsche

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