Let go and take a risk

Thoughts to Ponder

 “Processing our failures only keeps us in the past … forgive, let go and get back up … for if we remain in that negative space, we allow the shadow to win.’”

Window of Wisdom*

Hashing over old mistakes is a habit many of us learned from our families and teachers. We continue to reinforce that habit as we mature. But is it good for us?

When we do something wrong we should review our contribution to the argument, unpleasant situation or disaster. After accepting our part in the situation we apologize and vow to do better in the future. If we’re fortunate the other party will accept our apology and agree to move on. Otherwise, we’ve lost a friend or job.

If the situation is not resolved amicably, we still need to move forward. We can remember the situation as a learning experience and live our lives according to our new awareness. Or, like most of us we learn and change our behavior, yet carry the guilt around for the next 50 years. Nothing weighs more than guilt. It prods us at the most inconvenient times. Perhaps we’re starting a new job and each day we wonder if that is the day our supervisor learns about our colossal error that cost the old employer a valuable contract. Possibly, we meet a new love but are afraid to commit because that person may learn how we caused pain in a former relationship.

When we notice that our old mistake is costing us happiness in our current lives it is past time to heal ourselves. If we were truly contrite about the situation we can tell ourselves that we took all the steps we could to repair the damage and have changed our behavior. If the situation catches up to us, we must be truthful and show our remorse.

In the meantime, to grow into a better person we need to do as Martha Beck recommends:

“Every day, do at least one frightening thing that contributes to the

fulfillment of your desires.”**

Perhaps that frightening thing is merging onto the Interstate to get to work. We don’t like it, but we have to do it to feed our family. For me the most scary thing I need to do is make a phone call. The phone that weighs ounces in my pocket weighs 500 pounds when I have to punch in some numbers and hit send. I fear I may be interrupting something important on the other end. Yet I must do it to schedule appointments and visit with my friends. One event that terrified me was enrolling in college when I was in my early 40s. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

Each of us has different things that frighten us, but we’ll get nowhere except our rocking chairs if we give into those fears. We must do something scary each and every day to move forward to reach our goals.

Spirit, Please remind us each day to do something that frightens us, whether it is tasting an unusual food or applying for a new job. Only in that way can we grow into the strong people we are meant to be. And, so it is.

*A Window of Wisdom, July 4, 2016, https://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com

**July 6, 2016, Menu Item #5, Risk, The Joy Diet, Martha Beck, info@marthabeck.com

© by Sharon D. Dillon, July 17, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as an e-book or paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

And that has made all the difference

Thoughts to Ponder

April 8, 2016

“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the road less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost*

As we travel through our days sometimes the road is a smooth, easy, lovely ride. Other times we hit small bumps or potholes that damage our egos and indicate that we are traveling the wrong road and need to make a detour, sooner rather than later. We can keep driving down that road until our car is wrecked and our souls are bleeding.

Why do we continue this disastrous pattern? Often we don’t see another road we cab travel. Or we see an alternate road but are afraid to make the turn because the old road is familiar. We know where the bumpy road will take us. We don’t know what will happen if we change directions.

Those fears are valid. We don’t know where the new road will take us. Often we are taught from childhood that we must follow a certain path, no matter what. Fear of change can be a generational roadblock. Other parents teach their children to go for the prize. A friend once told me that he was taught to shoot for the stars and if he only reached the moon he’d still be further than had he remained Earth bound.

My own upbringing was more along the fearful lines. If I were to step out of my role something terrible would happen. I would live to regret my rash behavior. I believed that for many situations, like speaking up at work, but in others I took chances and am glad I did. I had to change my direction several times. While many decisions had serious repercussions they always came with a gift that made my life better.

Some examples:

  • My first marriage was a disaster, but my three wonderful children made life worthwhile.
  • I left that marriage not knowing what might happen and learned that I was capable of earning a living for my young family.
  • After my children were grown I enrolled in an elite college with only $25 dollars in my pocket. I graduated at age 47 with less student debt than anticipated. That degree led to better jobs.
  • At 55 I chose early retirement and a severely reduced benefit to move across the country to live near my daughters. That move allowed me to watch my grandchildren reach adulthood and give me four great-grandsons that are the delight of my life. And, another baby is on the way.
  • In 2013 my favorite online inspirational writer chose to close her blog. Uncharacteristically, I chose to continue her work with Thoughts to Ponder. While my following is not as large as hers, the number is growing. Most of all I feel satisfaction in doing my part to make the world a more peaceful place.

All that is a long way to say that it is never too late to change directions. I’m now looking for other ways to expand my life and new roads to travel. If I don’t fly among the stars I’m still a lot further than if I’d never started this journey.

I urge you to take a risk and take “the road less travelled.” You may face some unpleasant situations but you will have gained so much more.

Spirit,

Thank you for showing us that we have options. We can change directions as often as necessary to reach our goals. By exploring new roads we learn that we have talents we never expected. Those talents will lead us down more roads and to new adventures. Those choices might not all lead to the stars, but they will certainly get us further on our journey than if we stay focused on the potholes in front of us.

And, so it is.

*Frost, Robert, “The Road not Taken,” in Mountain Interval, 1916.

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com