Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Recently I've come to this place in my life where I don't want to harbor anger or bad feelings for anyone. And it's not like I ever wanted to, but I wasn't at a place where I understood how important it was to just let go. It's hard though, to just move on. And it's especially hard for someone like me who has a tendency to obsess and obsess until I feel crazy! But somehow over the past year or so I've managed to become someone who can just let go. It seems almost impossible, and it absolutely seemed impossible when I first started on this journey, but over time it has become easier and easier.
So anyway, while trying to avoid getting all Oprah-y/Dr. Phil on you, here's what has worked for me:
1. Realize you cannot change anyone else's behavior but your own- everyone lives in their own reality.
So many times I've thought to myself "why does he/she do that?!" and become so frustrated that this person was reacting in such a way. First things first, I had a long, hard look in the mirror after reading this quote- "We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve." Did that hit you as hard as it hit me the first time I heard it? I'm sure many of you can relate when I say that this really applies to the way I think sometimes. I'm absolutely guilty of not understanding how on earth someone could do this, think that, say whatever, and wonder why they just don't get it. But not only can I not change someone else's behavior, but I should try not to judge it, as if my way is the only way or the right way. And that's not to say if someone is especially rotten we should just shake our heads and say, "oh, that's them!" and excuse bad behavior. But in day-to-day encounters it's important to remember that everything does not revolve around us or our way of doing things; each individual has their own reality they live in, full of their own truths and reasons for their actions. When I remember this I am able to accept that not only can I not change someone else, it's futile to even try, because we will always be coming from two different places with two very different ideas about the hows and whys. And a disclaimer here- I don't want to discount working through something with someone different than ourselves; I'm talking about simply accepting that there are many ways to do something, and to recognize that our way isn't the best or only path even though it certainly may feel like that from time to time.
2. Put your energy in the right place.
Have you ever found yourself telling yourself not think about something, yet continuing to think about it, over and over? Or maybe discussing and rehashing with a friend, talking in circles about the same thing the entire time you hang out? What an epic waste of energy! I'm not successful all the time, but I actively try and remind myself "This is what it is. You have done what you can. Going on about it in your mind (or with a friend) with no new information isn't providing clarity, you're only giving the negative thoughts more power." Yes, I talk to myself. And yes, it works! By being firm in not allowing myself to devote any more time to this or that, I allow myself to move past it and be free of it. It might be visualizing a stop sign in your mind whenever your thoughts start going there, or just getting up and physically moving yourself to a new place, leaving your old thoughts behind, but find a tool that works and use it!
Easier said than done, right? For many years I would be having a great day but then out of the blue I'd be reminded of a person/situation and my stomach would immediately hurt. It sounds so silly typing that out, but it's true- my negative thinking was physically affecting me. So one day I decided that I was done. Holding onto these feelings wasn't making me feel good, and completely holding me back by keeping me in the past. By truly forgiving, even if you're only able to do so in your mind, will bring an immediate release. In my own life it's something I had to work on continuously, but after awhile I felt free and I was able to be in the present, and move on. Awesome.
Before I go I should also add that I might sound like I know what I'm talking about here, but I don't, really. I'm figuring this all out just like anyone else, and I just wanted to share what's worked for me. I'm still learning everyday how to be better, and even though these things have helped, I still have to remind myself of them regularly. Being an emotional person has its downfalls (like worrying or thinking too much about feelings), but at the same time I love how passionate I am about everything and how much I feel, and I'm sure many of you can relate to that too. Just wanted to end on a positive note.
I haven't written a post like this in awhile, and it was fun. Thanks for reading. :)