Wendy's Blog

Why we get stuck in yesterday and how to get out

by Wendy Keller, mother, inspirational speaker

I’ve been thinking a lot in the last few days about those Evil Twins, “Blame” and “Regret”.  Seems to me like those of us who’ve had a bit of a tough time in life tend to take on one or the other as if such dark emotions were some kind of life raft.  Maybe they are in the first few months and we need to cling to those feelings, but really, after a while, they become concrete ankle weights when you’re trying to tread water.  You gotta let them go, no matter what happened.  It’s for the sake of your own survival.

You gotta let Blame & Regret go, no matter what happened.  It’s for the sake of your own survival.

Easier said than done, right?  Maybe not. You’ll have to forgive everyone involved, including yourself. Here’s the part that whacked me right between the eyes.  I met a man last night who is a financial planner for extremely affluent people. He gave me his business card and suggested I needed his services.  I told him my old tired story of how I had lost everything in a fire and was still rebuilding. I think of myself as a victim.  I’m doing well, I’m on my way, but I’ve still got a ways to go…and that’s when the last piece of this puzzle fell into place for me.  Wham!  The fire was in November 2007.  Get over it already, Wendy!

For a few weeks, I’d been noticing people around me blaming other people and circumstances for how their life is right now; I’d been listening to myself express regret (for not handling things differently after the fire, etc.); it’s crystal clear: letting go of these negative feelings is a decision that must be made if we are to have a more peaceful life, walk a happier path, allow abundances of love, joy, prosperity and serenity into our lives.

It’s crystal clear now: it is a decision that must be made if we are to have a more peaceful life, walk a happier path, allow abundances of love, joy, prosperity and serenity into our lives.

 

Which brings us to “How?” right?  Like the sages say, this is about self-observation. Just like I heard myself with that financial planner guy, you have to catch yourself saying or thinking blame- or regret-oriented thoughts and immediately, instantly, right there replace them with positive thoughts.  Sounds so hokey, doesn’t it?  Probably because hokey things, simple things, are the things that work.

Listen to yourself for the rest of today.  Are you blaming yourself or circumstances or someone else for the sorry life you have now?  Are you mired in regret that you did or didn’t do something in the past? IT DOESN’T MATTER if it “REALLY” is someone else’s fault. It’s your life now.

You can’t have a better future until you release yourself to have a better past.  No one ever won a race looking over their shoulder at the person behind them!  Let your past simmer down.  Stop talking obsessively about.  Stop regretting it. Stop blaming yourself and others.  Stop carrying it around – it’s too heavy for you and you deserve a break.

You can’t have a better future until you release yourself to have a better past.

 

Start out slow. This takes a little practice. But listen to yourself like an objective observer for the next few days. When you retell old stories, or rethink old thoughts, watch for Blame and Regret and make a conscious decision to let those things go. The past is so yesterday! Infuse your thoughts and speech with sunnier feelings and you’ll start to find your world shifting. Promise.

 

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[addtoany]
 
  1. I am 67 years old. Terrible childhood..physical, emotonal and sexual abuse. I have been in therapy twice…and I do have a good life with two incredible adult chldren and two beautiful angel granddaughters. Unfortunately we moved back to my hometown 8 years ago. And my family is bringing up all the same things that were issues 50 years ago. And they strike a chord. I made a decision to disassociate myself from them (except a wonderful sister and brother and sister-in-law..out of 8 children)It took getting an unlisted phone number and if they ever try to come over…we do not answer the door. Pretty drastic solutions we had to make. But I can no longer deal with toxic people…family or otherwise. And Iam much happier now then I ever was over the preceding 8 years. It was hard…but had to be done. Right or wrong…my soul is now at peace.

    • Hi Anne,

      It sure seems to me like you took the wisest possible action given the circumstances. Congratulations for taking good care of yourself.

      Wishing you a life overflowing with love, peace and joy,
      Wendy

    • Anne,

      You did the right thing. I had the same problem with toxic family members and had to cut them out of my life. Just because they’re family doesn’t mean with have to put up with their dysfunctions! Good for you!

      Take care,
      ~Sunny

  2. Letting go of regret and blame goes hand in hand with taking responsibility for LEARNING from one´s own mistakes and carefully/objectively observing circumstances created outside one´s control in order to avoid the ones that have been toxic for us in the past. Our first responsibility in life is to take very good care of our own precious being…. everything else flows from that! Thanks for the post.

  3. I just took the same actions – unlisted phone number, cut off family. And today I find this. Thank you for the gift of confirmation.

    • Deirdre,

      It’s like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first! Good job! And I have noticed that sometimes, family figures it out and comes back in a new, healthier way when one person has the strength to say, “This must stop.” Best wishes!

      Wendy

  4. Dear Wendy,

    reading your article I accidentally read one part “wrong”: …………. people around me blaming other people and circumstances for how their life is right now; …………….
    When I read it I put the emphasis on the word “right” and then I smiled. Many things in my life that seemed so wrong and horrible at the time contributed to rightening my life later on so that it is RIGHT now. And there are people and circumstances to “blame” for that.
    Thank you for your inspiring jewels of wisdom 🙂

  5. This is such great advice, and I love your “A ha!” moment, when you realized it has been five years. It is hard to shed an old identity that you took on because of circumstances. But it is so powerful to realize, “I WAS a victim, but I am not anymore.” Thank you for your post. It is timely, as I have been working and struggling with this very issue.

    • Thanks a lot, JHW. I think we all struggle with this off and on again during our lives. I suspect the thing to ask is, “Am I making progress?” Hopefully, even if it’s at inch worm speed!

      All the best,
      Wendy

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