Missed Opportunities and Painful Memories

SadWhat do you do to let go of missed opportunities or painful memories?

I just finished listening to the book, The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton. It was a great story about family secrets, and it was revealed throughout a 100-year time span. In the midst of that story, I heard one line that screamed out at me and I had to jot it down so I would not forget it.

“Make a life out of what you have, not what you are missing.”

So simple, yet so profound. I know so many people who dwell on things lost or things never received instead of the blessings of the day. Dwelling in the past and looking at the times we’ve been hurt can be painful beyond words, yet why is it so difficult to “just let go” of these memories ? I know some people hang onto guilt in the same way. I’ve been to retreats where participants were encouraged to write little Post-it notes about times they’ve been wronged, wrongdoings they’ve done, times when they’ve been hurt, etc. then participants are told to wad them up and tossed them into a campfire – a fire which will consume them and turn them to ashes.

It is obvious that this is to represent a sort of letting go, but it doesn’t work for many people. Why not? I have some ideas , but first I look forward to hearing ways that others have learned to let go of the painful, the missing, the hurt, and moved into a new life. How do you find the up side of your down?

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