When It’s Over, It’s Over

I heard something from a client yesterday that was music to my ears.

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In talking about her week prior, she said “I know it was full of ups and downs, but I didn’t feel the need to talk about them. And I don’t even remember them all now.”

No, she not in denial and she doesn’t have memory loss. The reason I was so happy to hear this is because she’s at a place where she’s no longer holding on to her ups and downs the way many of us do.

She’s no longer holding on to them as much because she sees them in a new way.

I’ll explain.

We tend to have the idea that we need to talk about the things we consider problems. We were implicitly taught that our moods are meaningful—that they are tied to external things that may or may not be going well in our lives.

That if we aren’t feeling well, there’s something to work through.

So we carry our problems and moods around with us, hoping to resolve them by batting them around in our minds. Or we carry them around because it feels irresponsible not to.

We can let them go and let our minds off the hook, but we don’t. We don’t hold on purposely, of course. We’re just so in the habit of carrying old thinking around that we don’t even notice that’s what we’re doing.

The great irony, of course, is that as we carry problems around in the hopes of solving them, when what we’re actually doing is keeping those thoughts alive.

Thought, moods, and emotions are like waves crashing on the shore. They will wash up and cause a stir and then—totally naturally and on their own—flow back to their source.

The moments of our lives can operate in the exact same way.

I remember once hearing Elsie Spittle say that by the end of a day, she rarely remembers what she had for lunch earlier that same day.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s not that she couldn’t recall lunchtime if she had to, its that she lives so immersed in the moment she’s in, without carrying around the thick mental narrative we tend to live within, that those details aren’t tracked and held closely the way they often are.

When something is over, it’s over; and she’s fully in what’s right in front of her.

It’s a beautiful thing to be constantly shedding what’s done and stepping into each moment with fresh eyes and few limitations.

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