It could be the day you got divorced, got a DUI/OUI, lost a job due to your drinking, etc….
The list is probably endless. As I’ve written about previously in both the book and in past blog
posts, you shouldn’t spend a whole bunch of time reliving the past in your head beating
yourself up over poor past decisions, or for that matter, in reliving oldglories that no longer exist.
That being said, the past IS a part of the chain of events that have brought us to this very moment
and you do have to occasionally analyze it, learn from it and use it as a means to grow. You know,
the old “those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it”; there is a lot of truth to that.
Sometimes those old memories bring up unresolved hurts and issues from the past. What are we
to do about that? I believe that you have to view them with a certain amount of unprejudiced/objective detachment. The goal is ultimately to give them closure so that they don’t mess with your ability to
live in the present unencumbered. I know, easier said than done!
I’ll give you a personal example. As you all know, Father’s Day is coming up this weekend and it still remains a hurtful reminder of the pain that I inflicted on my children as a result of my alcoholic
condition. The fact that I’m coming up on three years clean and sober doesn’t impress them terribly
much and my relationship with them is tenuous at best. So what are my options as to what to do
about that? Well first off, I can be the best dad to my ability today and going forward. Saying you are
sorry is all good and you should do that, but that in and of itself does very little. Forgiveness is earned…
...and sometimes it isn’t, even through the best of intentions and efforts. That’s when acceptance of
reality TODAY has to come into your psyche. Is that an easy thing to do? Nope but it’s the only healthy response. The alternative is to hold onto resentments or to “wish” it wasn’t that way. Resentments
foster the continuation of suffering, anger and will only keep you stuck in that past instead of embracing
the possibilities of today and tomorrow; And wishful thinking is……….well, just that.
So Father’s Day will come and go this Sunday and it will be what it will be. I’ll have my moment of sadness but then let it go knowing that I am willing, able and available to mend any broken fences to the extent that those efforts are accepted and embraced. I’ll go to bed that night knowing that that’s the best that I can do and be OK with that. As I said, it’s the only sane and healthy response.
Peace and Happy Father’s Day to all you