Often, too often in fact, I find myself looking back on a particular period of my life and wondering where "it" all went wrong. I sit back and chastise myself repeatedly making poor decisions, and I relentlessly pummel my inadequate planning. It generally starts off as a simple look into my past. I begin a walk down memory lane and suddenly it all comes back. I'm in a situation, and I get to watch myself from a third person viewpoint. I sit back and watch my past as a normal person watches a horror movie.
"No dummy! Don't do it!" I say to myself, sometimes loudly.
This type of reflection is very helpful for future decision making, but occasionally I find myself stuck in one specific memory. It may take days or weeks to properly move past, or it may take as much as years. Ive developed some psychological tools to help myself recently, and this blog is dedicated to passing them on to other people who may find them helpful. I am certain that I am crazy, but I am also certain that I am not the only person who reflects internally and occasionally becomes stuck.
Tool 1. You can call it reliving the situation. Most often I find myself upset because of a way that I reacted to something, generally when I became upset or had a feeling of low self worth.
I take the situation and recreate it in my mind, and I turn it into a positive ending.
Step one is to clear your mind completely through breathing excercises or meditation, and step two is to simply imagine the entire situation up to your reaction. Change your reaction Right before you remember yourself react. You may have to do this over and over again but it will work. Just always imagine it the same way you imagine a memory.
This one is a simple tool. It is tried and true and has never failed me. Call a friend.
Don't expect advice. Don't expect answers. Don't call somebody involved in the situation. Just ask to talk and follow through with it. Don't hold back. Don't be afraid. Be yourself and say what you want to say. Often these things in our hearts are the things most necessary to be said out loud. Friends always know what to say to put your heart at ease.
Imagine your life the way you want. How does that look? Are you happy? Why are you happy? Who is in your happy life? What do you bring to their life in this world? How close are you to this happy life now? Would reacting differently in the past have helped create that life?
If the answer is no, then you have your reason to move past it. If the answer is yes then I have a statement for you...
Too Bad! You can't go back to the past and change anything, but you can let the past change you! Make sure that you don't make the same mistake twice. Don't screw it up and Don't give up on yourself. Aside from our parents and children we are our own biggest fans. Be who you want to be, and start being him or her Today Not Tomorrow. You have to start by trusting yourself, and everything else falls into place.
I hope this reaches and helps at least one other crazy person like myself.