Put the past behind you

Put the past behind you

I had a whole post written up. I had written it the same day that I had written four other posts. Three of them were for the catinstuctionmanual.com, and one for my business site. I was feeling pretty proud of myself.

Photo taken by my grandmother in 2016

Since my business is my primary money maker and catinstructionmanual.com is an experiment for potentially making a full-time income online, I edited and formatted those first so that they could go up right away. The personal post that I wrote for this site was put on the back burner.

I start writing posts using SpeechTexter. It’s a free app that I use on my phone and computer to transcribe what I say aloud into text. It has an autosave feature, so if you accidentally close out the app, it saves the last thing you created. 

The post I wrote for kathrynluisa.com was the first I created that day. I decided to keep the tab open on my computer. I opened a second tab so I could work on the other posts. 

That was a few days ago. Now that those posts are up and being promoted, I returned to the tab that I had left open. And there was nothing there. 

Well … F***

I think to myself, “Looks like I have to start again. That teaches me not to move forward with other things without saving them into another application or program.”

The above is a minor example of something I could beat myself up for, dredging up all the stuff from the past that is even remotely similar. That would be a pointless waste of energy.  Instead, I note it in my head and proceed with writing this post that you see in front of you now.

There was a time in my life when something as small as my previous example would have led to a total meltdown. I would have been saying many rather nasty things to myself, but I would not ordinarily say to other people.

As good as I am at being positive and encouraging for other people, I haven’t always been that for myself. 

Don’t hold grudges

I have a great memory, which helps me in my work. I’m able to remember complete conversations between clients and myself. Having a great memory also helps in my relationships. If there’s something you tell me, I will remember.

New York 2013

I’m not the type of person who holds grudges. For this reason, I don’t tend to bring up the past unless it’s necessary. Usually, the only time that I find it essential to bring up the past is when someone contradicts themselves, especially if that person is me.

While I’m very good at remembering the past, I feel the past should stay where it belongs, in the past. I am a forgiving person. However, I will walk away from someone if they hurt me. 

They will have a chance to prove to me that they have learned from that and are someone that I want in my life.

Subtle transgressions sting the most

I know a lot of people who aren’t so forgiving. One of which used to be a close friend of mine. She once told me that I tend to give chances to people who don’t deserve them.

This friend did a lot for me at one point in my life. Because of her, after a tough breakup, I dared to start dating. She was someone I could call up at any moment and complain to when things weren’t going well. 

I always felt like something was missing.

Over time I realized what that something was—her lack of consistency. 

New York 2013

I have several friends that if I text them, I know they probably won’t text back for a few hours. It’s not a big deal. I understand that these people are very busy, and sometimes texts don’t get seen right away. I don’t call these people because I know how busy they are. 

With the friend in my example, sometimes I wouldn’t get a response at all.

I felt like I was always the one reaching out to her. Her attempts to connect with me became less frequent over time. Eventually, they stopped altogether. Every time we did speak, I always made it clear I was always available to her.

I would invite her to events and parties. I did not expect her to come because I wanted to respect that she might be tired from work. Sometimes she would say she would be there and not show up. 

Other times we would plan time for just the two of us. I would have her pick the time and place so she would be as comfortable as possible. Sometimes we would hang out at her home. She would reschedule almost every time.

Letting it go

It took a year of this happening again and again before I finally decided to tell her I was ending the friendship. Her only response in return was a text with the word okay.

While the end of the friendship did make me sad, I’ve never been angry about it. 

I let it go and let it stay in the past. If that same person were to reach out to me to rebuild the friendship we once had, I would be happy to do so.

Put the past behind you

I’m not perfect, and I have done things that have hurt people. I have neglected friendships and done things I knew would hurt people. 

Even with that in mind, I know that I am worth forgiving. If I’m worth forgiving, so is everyone else.  

Leave the past behind you, starting with the past transgressions that you have committed against yourself. 

It’s best to leave things in the past. Learn from them, carry those lessons with you but don’t hold on to the old negatives. It doesn’t matter if those past things are something you’ve done or said or it’s something that someone else has done or said. It’s not worth holding onto what has hurt you. 

Manhattan, NY 2013

What is something you need to leave in the past? Leave your comments below.

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