You Don’t Live There Anymore

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This is a post I wrote a while ago but now that the holidays are approaching, I think it is worth sharing again. Don’t ruin reality with expectations Buckle up, sit back and just enjoy the ride.
Repeat after me: You cannot re-live the past. One more time. You cannot re-live the past.
Sometimes, a moment in time touches me so deeply that I want to repeat it. I tell myself this ridiculous nonsense that if I go through the same motions, I will feel the same feelings. 
I was looking back at old pictures in Timehop and some of those pictures brought me back to days I was truly happy. Year after year I try and recreate those moments and deep down its just impossible. That moment, the one thing that makes me completely happy is dependent on too many things I cannot control. If it involves other people, it is dependent on their attitude, words, mood. You name it. I have to let go of holding onto to an idea and trying to stretch it from the past all the way into the future. There’s too much that happens along the way and expectations, well, we know what they do. They disappoint almost every single time. It’s so much better to start with a clean slate and just let life unfold. We can’t manipulate or control it. We can’t grab onto it to make it last longer than it will. We can’t undo it or redo it. No matter how hard we try, I try, it will never happen the way I will it to.
If something is good, enjoy it with every ounce of your being. Be there completely and let it imprint on your mind and heart. If something is bad, be there completely too. Feel the pain and feel it completely. Learn the lesson and move on. Don’t look back too often and don’t squint to see what’s up ahead. Just be wherever you are.
Repeat after me: Stop trying to re-create the past. You don’t live there anymore.

Allow Today To Be That Day

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Do you carry yesterday into today? I believe one main reason we have difficult, damaged relationships is because we carry the past into the present. Instead of approaching someone with today, we approach them with our feelings and thoughts from yesterday, last week, last year or another time that doesn’t serve any of us well at all.

Here’s an example. Yesterday, I told Chase to go straight to biology and put his vocabulary words in his backpack so he could study for his test. When I picked him up at the end of the day, he didn’t have the list. I approached him with the angry expectation that he wouldn’t have it and our interaction yesterday fell short of being something positive. Was that fair to him? Was it beneficial for me to drag the morning into the afternoon?

Imagine the relationships we’ve had for years. Can you imagine the damage and failure of relationships if we continue to approach someone as if they are a negative moment of the past? It is so counter-productive and that poor family member or friend doesn’t stand a chance. It’s like declaring a guilty verdict every time without ever allowing a trial.

Today, and everyday, approach everyone with the attitude that this moment is a new day. You are a new person, they are a new person and this a chance to start fresh. Be here, right now and leave your judgements and baggage outside the door. You are destroying your own heart and everyone around you if you try and drag yesterday into every today. Don’t approach anyone today like they are that same anger, disappointment or frustration they were yesterday. That time, that conversation, that interaction is over, it’s time to move on. Just something to think about today.

“Let today be the day you finally release yourself from the imprisonment of past grudges and anger. Simplify your life. Let go of the poisonous past and live the abundantly beautiful present… today.” 

Steve Maraboli

You Don’t Live There Anymore

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Repeat after me: You cannot re-live the past. One more time. You cannot re-live the past.

Sometimes, a moment in time touches me so deeply that I want to repeat it. I tell myself this ridiculous nonsense that if I go through the same motions, I will feel the same feelings. 

I was looking back at old pictures in Timehop and some of those pictures brought me back to days I was truly happy. Year after year I try and recreate those moments and deep down its just impossible. That moment, the one thing that makes me completely happy is dependent on too many things I cannot control. If it involves other people, it is dependent on their attitude, words, mood. You name it. I have to let go of holding onto to an idea and trying to stretch it from the past all the way into the future. There’s too much that happens along the way and expectations, well, we know what they do. They disappoint almost every single time. It’s so much better to start with a clean slate and just let life unfold. We can’t manipulate or control it. We can’t grab onto it to make it last longer than it will. We can’t undo it or redo it. No matter how hard we try, I try, it will never happen the way I will it to.

If something is good, enjoy it with every ounce of your being. Be there completely and let it imprint on your mind and heart. If something is bad, be there completely too. Feel the pain and feel it completely. Learn the lesson and move on. Don’t look back too often and don’t squint to see what’s up ahead. Just be wherever you are.

Repeat after me: Stop trying to re-create the past. You don’t live there anymore.

Where Do You Live?

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When it comes to my crazy family, both my daughter and husband can watch the same movie over and over. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies. It is the easiest, cheapest vacation from the real world I can book in a moments notice. I can lose myself there and become so wrapped up in the storyline, I forget I have a care in the world. I cannot however stand to watch a movie more than two times. I had to laugh as I thought about this as we watched Guardians of the Galaxy today. My movie watching habits parallel with my view on life. I don’t like to revisit the past and hash out things that will never be changed. Sure, I reminisce often about the memories that are most precious to me but when it comes to resurfacing past problems or arguments or difficult times, I really have no interest at all in going back. I am an eyes on the road kind of girl and I always focus on what is right there in front of me. No need to keep looking back unless it is to cherish the positive events or a valuable life lesson that came from a difficult time. Maybe it’s a silly correlation but it is one that ran through my mind today. Where do you spend most of your time? Past, present or future? You know the saying…how can we get to the next chapter if we are constantly rereading the same ones?

A Thing of the Past

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I am baffled why so many of us are fixated on the past. Can we change it really? If we focus on it, are the feelings and pain that live there going to magically be released and healed? I believe what we focus on becomes our reality. We could have the most innocent intentions but revisiting and living in the past is like a gigantic wasteful trap. Why do we have to remember? Why do we have to dig it up? Why do we have to rehash and keep something that should never have happened alive? I just don’t get it. I’m not even sure I agree teaching history anymore. Every day is a new start, a day to wake up with the gift of life placed delicately in our clumsy little hands. Can we change the future by visiting the past? Will it prevent us from making the same mistakes or will it just be a reason to walk around life with a chip on our shoulder allowing us to believe we are victims? We are all victims but we are also warriors. Can we not stand on our strong legs and look to the future with a new powerful weapon of change? Maybe it is letting go and becoming part of the movement of rebuilding a better world that should be a place we visit often. What can we do today to make the world a better place? What can we do in this moment that will assure our kids will live in a healthier more loving world?

The serenity prayer has always been one of my favorites. I try and live by those words of enlightenment and strength. I believe the words are worth repeating each and everyday.

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The Truth Comes Out at Night

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This is the third night in a row I guess you could say I’ve been having nightmares. The first two nights were about snakes and last night I was crying so hard I woke myself up.

It makes me realize how deep we bury some of life’s messes we carry. We stick them in a deep place so that we can forget and go on with trying to live a happy life. The truth though, is they are still there affecting us every day whether we are aware of it or not.

Maybe dreams are a safe way to deal with the monsters who continually chase us long after we think we’ve grown up enough to make them disappear. It amazes me how the fear and the pain feel more real while we sleep than we allow it to be felt while we are awake.

The lesson is this. I have to rid myself of these monsters once and for all. I have to make sure that when I do dream about them they are just small, little creatures who do not hold the power over me that they do right now. So, how do I make them shrink? How do I face them head on and let them know they cannot control me any longer?

The snakes in my dream never attack me. In fact, I guess you could say they don’t even bite me. They just stare at me with piercing eyes and slowly slither around me, squeezing me and reminding me they have a tight hold on all I do. One day I will wiggle myself free, but for now, I will try and take back my control, one day at a time, before that snake gains enough strength to squeeze all the life right out of me. Me or monsters? Who will win?