“It's been so long that I haven't seen your face. I'm tryin to be strong but the strength I have is washin away!” –Right Now, Akon
Are you living life in the present moment? Are you enjoying every moment as it comes to you? Are you sure? Or are you trying to be happy throughout life but feel that something is always holding you down or pulling you back? If you do feel stuck there is one main reason for this, you have not let go of the past. You are not truly living every moment as it comes to you because you are worried, angry, or in pain due to something that happened to you a few minutes, months, or years ago. You are not living the present day because every day is not the present day for you, it is the past. Sounds weird? Well think about it this way: Three years ago, someone came along and hurt your feelings. Today (the present day), you wake up angry because you heard the person’s name the night before. Now you walk around the entire day angry and upset with every single person that you come in contact with in the present day. You carry everyone into your past situation because you bring it with you everywhere you go. Therefore, you do not get to enjoy all of the conversations, relationships, friendships, etc. that you have in the present day. You will never make any positive connections in the present day because you are stuck in the negative connections of the past.
Have you ever sat down and made an analysis of your life? I challenge you to do so! Do you want to be happy? Do you want to stop feeling anger, pain, resentment, betrayal? I have to solution for you and you don’t have to pay or do anything intensive to participate. Take time out of your busy day and work on the following experience. Grab a paper and writing utensil and sit down in a quiet, comfortable environment. Separate the page into four columns: Situation/Relationship, Is it Affecting Me, Goal/Amount of Time to Get Rid of Pain/Date that you Succeeded. In the first column, write down every painful situation/relationship that you have gone through in your lifetime. Try as hard as you can to remember as many of them as possible because it will help you maximize the success of the experiment. In the second column, write a “Yes” if it is still affecting you and a “No” if it is not affecting you anymore. In the third column, set a goal (time frame) for you to stop feeling all of the emotions that come from this situation. In the final column, write down the date that you succeeded in your goal of stopping the affects of the situation/relationship; this is helpful because you can reflect on it if you ever feel an emotion try to creep back into your mind.
"Ok Joel I wrote it all out but it hasn’t helped me feel different. What now?" Well now that you have all of the situations on paper, you have a visual of what affects you (your personality, mental state, health, etc.) on a daily basis and you can work towards stopping these affects. The first step is letting go of the situation and the feelings that come along with it. This is a very difficult step, but it is the most rewarding as well. I understand that sometimes the situation may be very painful and it may hurt you to reflect on it. You have to face the situation and move on or it will overpower you for the rest of your life. There are various ways to get past this first step: Many friends have used me as a sponge that absorbed every word and every feeling from a painful situation by just talking to me about it and letting everything go. Find someone that you trust or, more importantly, someone that will not be judgmental or bias against you and let it all go (words, feelings, tears, etc.). Once you do that, you will feel “lighter” because much of the weight of the situation has been lifted off of your shoulders. It is understandable if you do not feel comfortable doing that, therefore the next best thing would be writing it out. Write until your hands get tired and take out all of your pain on the paper/keyboard. Just like the conversation, you have to let it all go until you feel “lighter.” Then just print out the paper, and dispose of it (burn it, shred it, etc.). Once that part is done, you will probably be able to go back to the sheet you created and see that you accomplished a goal. If you are still being affected, the next step would be to write a letter to the person that created the situation. Write a formal letter and write down what you are feeling because of the situation/relationship that you went through. Once you write that, do a chart that shows the positive times and the negative times in the relationship. Next to the negative times, write down all of the feelings that you felt. Next to the positive times, write down the feelings that you felt. In the final part of the paper, write about the positive times in the situation/relationship and how good you felt through them. Finally end with these words: “I have been holding onto this situation/relationship for (amount of time) and have let it run my life because I was not able to accept it and move on. I now see that I learned many things from it and became a much better person because of it. I thank you very much for the lessons that I have learned and I truly forgive you for it.” Once you finish the letter, reflect on it and make sure that you are fully satisfied and ready to forgive and move on. Once you are you can go back to the sheet and see that you accomplished your goals.
Try this experiment out and watch how much better you will feel afterwards. You will learn to move away from the past and live in the present moment. Watch how positive your life, and everything around you, becomes afterwards. I challenge you to change your life for the better and gain some positivity from this experience. Remember to leave your comments and insight on the ways that you were positively affected by the challenge. Your successful accomplishments will motivate everyone else to do the same. Like always, I am always just a “Send Message” click away if you need me. Live life to its fullest, one day at a time!