I had the pleasure of having lunch with a good friend this afternoon, and every time that we talk he shares something that I find profound. Sometimes he teaches me new things, and sometimes I am reminded of things that are extremely valuable in life. Today as we talked about moving our communities and people forward we began to discuss how one of the major road blocks is freeing ourselves of the past.
It occurred to me that he was absolutely 100% correct. To many times we talk about what happened, and how awful it was and how we never want to experience it again. Instead of focusing on what I want from life, what I aspire to be, what I want from a relationship. Practice sending a very clear message to others and to the universe about who you are by keeping your conversation focused on positivity, the present, and the future. We cannot invest anything in the past. It happened, learn from it and MOVE ON!
3 Tips for Honoring Endings and Moving On
If you can’t seem to let go of an incident from the past, these three tips can help you move on more quickly. As you put them into action in your life, remember this: by learning to release regrets, you are honoring yourself. By forgiving, you are affirming that you are greater than what others think of you or do to you.
• Write a new story. “He hurt me, she betrayed me, he cheated me”—those are all snapshots of what may have happened at one moment in time. By retelling and reliving that story, we are telling ourselves and the world that what happened during one segment of our lives is the whole story of our lives. But the story of what happened to you, or what you did to someone else, at one moment in time does not have to become your life story. You always have the power to create a new story—one where your role is not that of victim, one where you honor yourself. When you catch yourself talking about or dwelling on past events, stop and ask yourself: What new choices do I commit to making right now that will give the next chapter of my life story a new, uplifting turn?
• See endings as graduations. Many endings in our lives are really promotions, although it may not feel that way at first. When we have outgrown a situation, a job, or a relationship, life has a way of propelling us out of that environment to more fertile ground for our own good. When you are tempted to fall into a funk or feel sorry for yourself because of what seems like a bad ending, ask yourself: Why is life beckoning me to move on? How will I benefit from a change of scene?
• Create your own ritual of release. One of the most effective ways to let go, once and for all, is to create a physical ritual of release. For instance, you can hold a shell or stone, mentally pour your feelings about a past incident into it, and then hurl it into a stream or off the side of the mountain. Or you can write down your feelings on paper along with a simple statement of surrender asking for help in letting go and finding peace. Then safely burn the letter, watching it and the issue dissipate in smoke. Let those ashes remind you of the phoenix, who at the end of its life ignites its nest and is consumed by the fire. From the ashes of its own ending, a new phoenix emerges. Know that you, too, have the phoenix inside of you.
Adapted from Patricia Spadaro’s new book, Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving.