Should you let your past determine our future? Well, yes and no. Have you ever held a grudge so long and so strong that you hogtied yourself to keep yourself from doing anything different in the future? Hate has captives. For the rest of their lives these people think that they have no choice but to repeat the past or to control their behavior in such a way as to avoid falling into a trap that they fell into in the past. Have you ever heard of superstitious behavior. This often happens when something happens just before something good or something bad happens and the person involved believes that they should either keep on doing that behavior or going into that situation or avoid it all together in the future when maybe it was just a coincidence. This is common among gamblers and athletes.
You have a mind. Use it. Learning should never stop and just because you have figured out one solution to a problem doesn’t mean you should always solve it that way in the future. Be flexible, be creative. Use the abilities that you were born with. Don’t rely constantly on other persons solutions to solve your problem. Just like shoes, other people’s solutions don’t always fit your situation just like Wearing other people’s shoes which might give you blisters, hammer toes or bunions, etc.
Sometimes even the “facts” that you learned as a child are erroneous and can trip you up. With “good” parenting, children can get an accurate picture of themselves and their good points and bad points. If parents have lots of problems themselves they can mess up their children’s lives sometimes permanently. Get some perspective on your situation when you were home growing up and see it with another person’s eyes. Children can often be gullible as they want to be loved and accepted. Some children have been raised by parents who still are children themselves and they may even see their children as rivals. This does not lead to doing or saying things that are in the best interests of the child.
With the voice of authority our inner voice of conscience often mimics what our parent said to us when we were a child. Others like teachers, grandparents, and neighbors can also effect not only your sense of conscience but also your self-concept whether it is good or bad. Time for a reality check here. Do your parents’ rules make sense now that you are an adult and on your own? We do many things by force of habit (which is good when you are going for a bicycle rid)e. Since most of these reactions are automatic, this makes it hard to change our behaviors even if they are self-defeating. For example, have you ever gotten your buttons pushed and reacted before you knew it letting the other person who pushed your buttons be in charge of your behavior? This can be a demanding, controlling, or dependent parent or a rebellious child who does not respect you, who thinks he or she is better than you, and who wants to control you, not be controlled by you.
The harder it is to change and the more self-defeating your learned behaviors are, the more likely you should seek professional help as anger and depression can follow from a deep searching of your past experience. It can destroy your equilibrium to delve too deeply or go too fast in your self-renovation project without good help. I am rereading a book as I write this, Toxic Parents, by Dr. Susan Forward. You can consult this book for more information and she also warns about applying this type of material to your situation. She does this at the end of the book.
Have a problem you can’t solve? Has somebody hurt you? Do you like to talk it over with a friend or friends? Do you want to share your frustration or hurt feelings. Do you think it will make you feel better if someone thinks or feels the same way you do?
A little coruminating can help but continuous airing of frustrations, bad news, or unrequited love can make you feel worse, especially for women. Depression can deepen and anxiety increase and you can even drive away friends with your constant texting or late night phone calls.
Pathways can be reinforced in our brains and associated feelings can be intensified with constant musings and repetitious ventilating. Going over and over a problem for which there is no current solution or recourse is frustrating both for you and the person you are sharing it with. It may even make it worse leaving you unable to recognize a solution or change in the situation when it happens.
Sometimes you can create a time table suggesting when you should try to solve the problem again or when you really should worry because you haven’t heard from someone. In the mean time take a break and encourage yourself not to do anything rash or jump to conclusions.
For example, being called to jury duty may throw a wrench in your monkey works if you are sequestered in a jury on long infamous trial but you might get excused from jury duty before you even have to report because of something that you didn’t know would excuse you from serving in the first place or after you get called in for the jury selection for a trial.
There is one thing that I usually say to myself when I start worrying about something that might happen or have happened and that is usually when something bad happens, I don’t expect it so if I am worrying that it has, it probably hasn’t happened.
Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think. Excuse yourself from ruminating about something especially when you don’t have all the information and won’t have it for a while. Yes, be ready when the time comes to do something about it. It is a lot easier to prepare for something and make plans for when something happens when you’re not worried about it and can think rationally.
Don’t look to tomorrow or back to yesterday for answers. The time is now. You can’t change the future today. Tomorrow is past and gone and can’t be changed now. You fill yourself with regret about the past and worry about what hasn’t happened yet.
Why waste the present by focusing on the past or the future when you are already here? Ruminating on the past doesn’t change a thing that happened yesterday. The best laid plans of mice and men do not always come to fruition tomorrow.
Focus on the now, not the how or why. So many things can be missed when you do not see what you are looking at now or hear what you are listening to now. I have seen the light go in and out of my grandson’s eyes and have seen how stressed a friend has been when I did not ignore the silent cries in their eyes.
Pay attention now. Don’t ask how. Just do it.
Don’t pay attention to labels given you by virtue of age, sex, ethnic or cultural background. Discern for yourself whether you fit them or not or even if you ought to consider them or not. Labeling of seniors often can become a self -fulfilling prophecy for them. They think, “I am over 65 so I ought to …..” How often do they give up or let go when they reach a certain milestone. For my girl friend’s father, it was when he reached fifty. I heard him say that he was old when he became 50. Now 50 is the new 30 and 70 is the new 50????
I don’t usually promote seeing any movies, but I am curious about LastVegas which is coming out with a lot of older, but good, actors in it. I believe its main theme is disproving the myths of old age promoted by society and offered to them by younger experts of their situations. What a way to go!
We can transition (my word for dying) at anytime and we are lucky that it didn’t happen sooner and you know it will happen (in your case) later. Your attitude determines your altitude. Maybe you have been too busy to think about life and your position in it what with working and often raising a family. You are not your career, your husband or wife, or glowing reflections of your children’s achievements. You are you and determine to a large part who you are, what you like or need to do, and what you believe in.
Stereotypes abound! Don’t be one of them. Of course, don’t ignore reality when it hits you in the face, make preparations for the future, but live your life now.
When things go wrong in your life, do you drown your sorrows in drink? cry your heart out? give up? take your disappointments out on others or on your self. This, when taken to an extreme, can make bad things even worse.
If life punishes you, don’t you think that you have already suffered enough? Yes but if you have intentionally done something wrong, you have to admit it to yourself and to anyone you have hurt on purpose and make amends.
You can’t control everything. Sometimes things do not go your way even if you were convinced that they would go your way. If there is something you can do to make it less likely in the future, do it. I am also not suggesting that in order not to feel pain and face losses in life that you enter a state of denial and pretend that nothing has happened. Sometimes there is something you want and think that you deserve that other people, not you, control your access to.
Expected or unexpected bad news can ruin your day but you can decide to not let that happen. A big loss needs to be grieved and it can be a lengthy process; but for instance don’t make a mountain out of a molehill and let something that you let ruin your day ruin your life.