Let’s look at this again. We keep coming back to the model, post after post. I come back to it in my own mind, day after day. I know this model. I can see my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, my results fitting into this model. But I don’t feel like I am really using it yet to my full advantage. How is that possible? How can I know the model – frontwards and backwards – and not more naturally utilize the model to my benefit?

“I do believe that many of us spend so much time arguing with our past, and resisting our past and actually literally trying to change it, that it doesn’t serve us in any way. How we choose to think about our past is either going to serve us or not.”

Let’s take a look at the model again.

Our past is a CIRCUMSTANCE. Our THOUGHTS about that circumstance will affect our FEELINGS in connection to that circumstance. And our feelings will lead us to our ACTIONS.

“When something happens in a certain way, there is no point in debating whether it should have happened differently, because it is over.”

BIG QUESTION: What do we do with those memories, or those thoughts that we see aren’t serving us, instead? Somehow eradicate those thoughts? Or use thought-work to change the stories from my past to better serve me?

I am still trying to figure this out.

Today alone, I noted how often I thought about my past, compared to how much time I spent thinking about my future. I chose today because I was at home most the day, only being stimulated by what I generally experience daily. I was shocked. Rough numbers, noted on my phone today:

Thoughts of the PAST in a five-hour period = 30

Thoughts of the FUTURE in a five-hour period = 5.

(And what about thoughts I had about the present? That will be a different blog post.)

I was sending Christmas cards out today, thinking about the individuals as I addressed envelopes. Sweet memories. Hard memories. All the feels, right? One friend, Jane, is really struggling, and has been for a long time. As I wrote her address on her Christmas card, I thought about her struggles, conversations we’d had in the past, what I thought went wrong for her, etc etc. I felt slightly frustrated, slightly humored, even kind of guilty about her past, and how little I could help her, in that situation. Again, so many emotions. I spent all that time thinking about past-Jane, rather than thinking about where she and I can get in the future, future-Jane.

“A memory without an emotional charge is called wisdom.”

Dr Joe Dispenza, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

I worked on re-lighting the Christmas tree today as well, while the kids were at school. As I wrapped those chords around each branch of that oversized tree (my hands are all cut up tonight from my efforts!), I thought about another friend from my past, in NYC. I have hard memories of this friend. We learned a lot of lessons on each other. I spent some time today really thinking about what I’ve gained from that friendship, and the respect I now have for this friend.

This particular memory was not emotionally charged. It was a peaceful experience, in fact, reconsidering that friendship from a decade ago.

At one time, those memories of that friend, would have been incredibly emotionally charged. But not today. Today it felt peaceful, and even helpful.

“I believe that everything that has happened in our lives can be used to serve us.”

ANOTHER BIG QUESTION: How did I move from the poisonous emotions that come from a memory to the peaceful experience that was mine today? How did I move toward making that relationship from the past, serve me today? How can I consciously do the same thing with other memories from my past that are more emotionally charged?

I am working on that. I am working on figuring this out.

Let me close here. I am grateful for the opportunity to have had a thoughtful experience with myself today – all day. I was aware of what was going through my mind, and the emotions those thoughts were eliciting. That is a good start. It was a good day.


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