Here is an excerpt from my book I am currently writing. I plan to begin the publishing process in the next couple months, so be on the lookout!
Chapter 11- No Regerts (not a typo)
Have you ever scrolled the websites with pictures of bad tattoos? My family has to limit my viewing time on these because I really lose myself to hysterics when I see them.
There’s everything from bad portraits, tattoos of animals that don’t even resemble the said animal, and then there’s the misspellings. The most popular one being “No Regerts”, meant to be “No Regrets”. I think it sums up human nature to it’s fullest.
First of all, we are not perfect.
Second, stuff happens.
Third, we’ve all done something at some point that we really wish we hadn’t.
1. Let it Go
This is ultimately what keeps Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Therapists, Social Workers, and Hypnotherapists (ok and Life Coaches, too) in business! Everything we do, say, and think, we believe is based on “what happened to me”.
In some part, it has some truth to it through the programming of our brains when thoughts became beliefs or subconscious observation. The most important point of all change is that we can. Once I meet with a client, we touch on some reasons they believe they behave or think as they do. I do not and will not dwell on the past behavior, but focus on the now and what we can do to change the unwanted.
I find that most people like to relive the past so they can excuse the repetitive behavior they exhibit. Sometimes there is an awareness, but most of the time there is not. The key to changing the current behavior is to recognize and let go of the past. Here’s an example of how I was able to understand this concept:
I always carried a lot of guilt when it came to my children. Their father and I divorced when they were 7, 9, and 10 months old. After the divorce, he was not a big part (or even a small part) of their lives. Every other weekend visits, if that, were the extent of his parenting efforts. For most of my parenting life I have carried a guilt that was misdirected.
I felt bad that I chose a bad father for my kids. I loved, sacrificed, and was a stable, good parent and yet I carried a guilt because of someone else’s behavior. I now know that I chose him so my children would come to exist. I realized I have no part in how someone else does or doesn’t live their life. This was a long journey for me because I also based my happiness on my children’s happiness. I worried what people thought, what my parent’s said, etc.
Letting go of all of that was so freeing! I now live my life for me. I know that everyone makes choices and decisions based on their own beliefs, reality, and ability to make the most of their own lives. It’s a process for sure, but once you come to terms with these facts, it becomes so much easier to let it go and not engage in any blame or feelings that you don’t want.
2. We’ve All Been There
Show me a person who hasn’t made a bad choice or mistake, and I’ll show you a mirage. It doesn’t exist. Mistakes are experiences with a negative view. If you look back at the instances you call mistakes, look after the fact and think about the good that came from it. Even the worst situations gave us desires for growth and learning lessons we would not have had without them.
We are meant to experience all kinds of instances that cause contrast and conflict in our lives. Not because we ask for hard times, but because we are looking to expand ourselves and our understanding of what to do with the time we have.
I remember a profound moment in my life when I was talking to a friend about a devastating revelation that I found my husband had cheated on me. I gave everything to the marriage and felt my heart had been ripped out. In that moment, I said to the friend, “If I have to go through this to help one person, then I will”.
I have no idea why that thought was there at that moment, but it was. And from that speaking and thinking, I have helped many people through the same hurt. Did I want to feel that gut wrenching pain, No! Did I know that I would use that experience in the future for friends and now a Coaching business? No way! Never look back and wish any moment of your life didn’t happen because you are stronger and smarter for it!
3. No Filter
On social media today, there are these crazy filters that you can add to a video or a picture that makes you look better. You can add a crown, a dog face, and other fun stuff as well. Although it can be fun, a lot of us won’t post anything until we’ve seen the picture and doctored it a bit.
As I get older, I’m guilty of this. I notice every gray hair and wrinkle. Don’t get me wrong, I love who I am but the aging gracefully is a tough one. Are we so afraid of criticism that we can’t freely post our own faces?
When it comes to speaking, I’ve always said what was on my mind. I’ve definitely learned to be gracious and thoughtful with my words as I’ve aged. I still say a lot of truth that others don’t always want to hear. Speaking our truth is like removing a filter of niceness. You are thinking nice is good, right? Nice is different from authentic. Nice indicates I care more about your feelings than my own. You can be kind and genuine, but you don’t always have to be nice. Here are some ideas for removing your filters:
- You are gorgeous in every day and every way. We feel pressured to always be “on” to the rest of the world. I believe in “look good, feel good”, but there are days I love going “au naturelle”. If you like how you feel, if you don’t feel like putting makeup on, or getting dressed up, then don’t. The point being, feel confident in yourself no matter what. Care not what others think.
- If it bothers you, say so. By holding in our feelings we build resentment towards others as well as ourselves. It will fester and stew until a small annoyance ends up a full blown meltdown. Now that’s not to say it’s ok to go around and tell everyone off. You can express yourself in a calm, kind way. If others are not receptive, that is a projection of them and not you. In the end, you will feel better for declaring your inner truth about how you feel.
- It’s always been this way- Just because there are patterns of behavior that have been in a cycle for years, doesn’t mean they need to continue. That saying, “how’s that working for you” comes to mind here.
- Here’s an example: I have a friend who has a sister (we’ll call her Julie), and the consensus is that Julie is “crazy”. Let me expand. Julie is very dramatic, self absorbed, tells a lot of untruths, and loves to be in everyone’s business. It has gone on for years in this family. She has fought with every member in the family and involves herself in situations outside of her life. The family just says, “that’s just Julie” and allows the behavior to continue. Now, they cannot change her behavior but they can choose not to engage with her or confront her behavior when it’s out line. If you have friends or family members that are difficult or intimidating, you do have a choice how you react to them. If it doesn’t feel good to be around them, you can distance yourself. You can love them from afar.
Copyright © 2018 Maureen Scanlon. All rights reserved.