What a way to start off a conversation. Let me explain…
In that title, I am referencing a habit that we all are guilty of, and many of us don’t even know that we do it. Actually, my barely full sentence speaking two-year old is the one who shined light on this realization.
One day this past summer Jordyn’Rae (my two-year old daughter) and I were walking towards my father-in-law’s condo and Jordyn began running towards, what I initially thought, were the front doors of the building. As she continued running, I noticed she was passing the front doors, and instead, was headed straight towards the concrete playground that sits in the middle of the building complex. Before reaching her destination, Jordyn ends up falling and scraping her knee. Fortunately she wasn’t down for too long before I was able to pick her up and console her. With tears running down her face, her fresh mark was deep enough to show the white meat underneath her skin, though not for long as the blood gathered and started running down her leg. After getting her inside, her dad and I mended her wound and dried her tears. In no time she was calm, bandaged and watching YouTube kid shows on her iPad as if nothing had happened. By the next day, Jordyn was her normal bouncy self but was also announcing that she fell to everyone as though it was some kind of trophy. “It’s new,” I thought to myself, so of course she’ll want to tell people. So I acknowledged it every time it was mentioned and kissed the booboo away. 2 days after the incident, Jordyn went on a road trip with her PopPop and relatives. In 5 days my baby was back home, but to my surprise, was still talking about her episode in the park a week ago! I couldn’t stop myself from asking out loud, “your’e still talking about that? baby it happened a week ago.” And there was my ‘AHA’ moment.
I found a correlation between my two year old and myself, my closest girlfriends, family members and I am sure, many other people whom I’ve never met. The habit of living in the past. Not allowing things to heal because we keep on reliving them. Emotion is a natural occurrence and is a profound characteristic in humans. It’s what makes us, well…human. There is absolutely nothing wrong with owning up to our emotions and acknowledging that we are hurting, joyful, nervous, excited, scared, etc. Memories are also natural and even occur in non-human species. Memories keep us in touch with lessons learned, recollections of happy times we’ve had with others, material we studied for a big test, etc. But sometimes, combining memories, a past experience, with the emotion attached to that past experience can be dangerous. It can greatly blur our perspective and ability to see and/or grasp things for what they are in the present. Living in the past is probably one of the best ways to sabotage the lessons and experiences being made right now and in the future. How many times have we told the story to our friends and close family members about what that boss/manager did that upset us? Or how many times we’ve held on to the happy times we had with someone that we are no longer happy with or no longer with at all, whether that be with a friend/family member or a romantic partner. Consider even, the amount of times we’ve allowed others to repeatedly tell us their stories, to the point where we can finish their sentence, even if we only do it mentally. We think that we are being a good friend, but we are really allowing that friend to be stuck in that past place, which more than likely, no longer serves them. And when they are allowing us to be the broken record, they are allowing us to do the same. All with good intention, but you know what they say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!”
So what do we do? As adults, we have to begin training ourselves and each other to move forward. If we were taught the power of thought as a child, consider how much more mentally and emotionally durable we would all be! If we must reflect on memories, whether bad or good, it should be brief and monitored, by our own consciousness. We must begin to develop and train our minds to not go into a meditative state about such past experiences that can blur the main purpose of the reflection in the first place. “If you do not win then you learn” -Albert Einstein. Everything that happens to us, happens for us. To learn, to grow, to over-stand and inner-stand. Memories, especially, unpleasant ones, hold dear lessons. Take the lesson learned and move forward with your life. Encourage those you love to do the same. Additionally, I am happy to say that I finally got my daughter to stop talking about her falling incident. As I am sure there will be many more, I think it’s important for her to not get too caught up with one. Initially I thought that telling Jordyn to stop in conjunction with telling her why she shouldn’t talk about it anymore would work. But her little mind still cannot grasp mommy saying “Jordy hunny, you have to stop mentioning it, you have to accept that it happened and leave it alone,” (though it wont exactly stop me from saying it to her, as I’m sure as she gets older she’ll grow to understand what mommy means). 😉
Love and Life xoxo
(Some people, who cannot seem to rise beyond a traumatic experience may be suffering from depression and should seek medical help)
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