Are you spending more time in your future or in your past?
This question is an easy one for most of us. When were upset about something, we often spend more time in the past. We relive something that hurt us or try to fix it in our minds. And yet it has passed. Our feelings don’t always make sense and yet we may find ourselves repeating the same hurt over and over in our imaginations.
We are human, and we need to grieve our losses. It may be the loss of something we wished could be different, a single loss, or a multitude of losses of dreams and events that have not gone our way. The grieving process is different for everyone, and it is important to respect it and allow ourselves to heal.
We don’t, however, want to practice the pain of our past. That is different from grief. When we grieve, we are moving toward accepting what is, even if we don’t like it. As we accept what is, we leave our bodies more receptive to opportunities in the future. When we practice the pain of our past by running it over and over in our mind, or worse, make it part of who we are (have you ever said, “just my luck”, or “nothing ever works out for me”?) we are creating a habit.
When we try to fix the past, it is like digging a moat deeper and deeper around our castle. Before we know it were stuck in the castle of our minds, isolated and sad.
So, what do we do when the reality of our situation feels so hurtful that we can hardly believe it’s happened? Maybe we decide not to accept what has happened. That is okay. The first stage of grief is shock, so it may take a little time for our bodies to digest it fully. However, we need to commit to accepting it. It may take time, and it may mean using some additional coping skills such as therapy or meditation, but if we decide we will care for ourselves and be mindful of any negative for fatalistic self-talk while were grieving, we are moving forward.
Every negative situation presents us with this opportunity. If we make the choice to practice our negative self-talk it may not only make us more depressed but, unintentionally, create self-fulfilling prophesies.
Alternatively, emerging from grief without the negativity can open our minds to new options. Rather than trying replace what we did not have, can we move on to what can be?
It is true that life is not fair. It is also true that sun will come out after the storm. Eventually the grief will dissipate, and then what is next? If the grief was full of self-recrimination and negative self-talk, it may become part of you. If the grief is full of self-nurturance and patience, the new chapter can be full of many new possibilities. Choose well. And reach out to us any time. We are here to make your journey easier.