Over the years, in my personal and professional life, I have been a sounding board for many people. I have listened and listened and listened. Many of those older than me have stated a common theme and that is that life is too short, they wished they had learned things sooner, and stopped to enjoy the little things for they are the big things.
If you don’t let things go, you may be stuck in the past. Ruminating is generally not helpful. Lettings things go, on the other hand, allows you to be in the present.
I aim to continue to work towards living in the present each day. Ultimately, I want to be happy and enjoy each and every day that I am afforded and blessed with. As a person, I know that I am imperfect and my days are limited. Therefore, I would like to be able to enjoy as many moments as possible.
I would love to be one of those happy people who just enjoy life all of the time, those that exude peace and happiness. Scratch that. I want to be me, and I want to be happy, positive, and loving as much as possible. I want to give others strength, inspiration, and laughter.
Over the last year, especially, I have learned that first, I must give myself those things. I am working on building myself up again. I have started pushing myself more. Pushing outside my comfort zone. Pushing myself to do things to be healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally. Pushing myself to grow.
I am still learning to let things go. It is difficult, there are many things in the past that still bother me… far too many. But that is the past, and I’d like them to be behind me. But how do I do that?
-Acknowledge and Accept Feelings
When I have a negative emotional experience; when I feel angry, guilty, disappointed, etc, I have to acknowledge it and accept it. It takes work to name it, to sit with it a moment to accept it and not try to push it down or not feel it, or to change it.
Move to action. If there is something that you don’t like and it would be better if you changed it. Do you have the power to change it? Get a move on. Work to change it. Unfortunately, there is often no easy solution, but instead lots of hard work that will help you to make the change.
Do your best to have compassion. Everyone you know is fighting a hard battle. Tell those that you love that you love them. They may need to hear it. You may need to hear “I love you too”. Hug them (if they are not averse to them), hugs can help heal.
Even when you don’t feel it, a smile can help. It can help you and it can help someone else. Trying to smile, can help it to become real for you. It can also improve your mood (even holding a pencil in your teeth lengthwise can improve moods per previous studies)
Have patience with yourself. Give yourself time. Have self-compassion. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead take a moment to acknowledge some appreciations about yourself something positive about you or something good that you did. And take some time to do something good for you.
This week, these things have helped me tremendously. It was very hard to acknowledge some of the anxiety, fear, shame and guilt that I experienced recently, and not only acknowledge but to also share that with a roomful of people that I don’t really know. I cried, and it was a little embarrassing. For a moment, I continued judging myself and feared that those around me were also judging me. But I continued sharing and I got through it. I was reminded that no one was judging me, I was given a tissue, and even thanked for my courage. I was able to acknowledge, accept, and let go. I even felt… empowered? peaceful? In sharing those words, I made it okay for others to open up more and to cry. Perhaps, it was brave and courageous as they said. Perhaps, I could let go and allow myself to feel that. Perhaps, I am making a new normal for me afterall.