August 15, 2018
“Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.”
Roy T. Bennett
At lunch yesterday a friend and me discussed what we need to do to free ourselves up in order to take advantage of future opportunity. She mentioned how much she and her significant others enjoyed a recent cruise, She said just leaving behind all their cares and concerns for a few days was invigorating. I think she was reporting how much our lives would be better if we treated all our days as if we left our worries on the dock as we ventured out on our search for happiness.
Our conversation reminded me of a recent article posted on the Positively Present blog. Here is an edited version of the piece.
5 Types of Baggage You Don’t Need to Carry
Just as we’ve all likely accumulated a wide variety of knickknacks, we all carry a unique set of emotional luggage. Sorting through it all is an individual experience; it’s something we each have to do for ourselves, in our own time. But I thought this week I’d talk a little bit about five kinds of emotional baggage many of us are carrying around — suitcases of inner burdens that make each of our paths a little bit more difficult to travel.
YOUR PAST – The first bag we could all benefit from setting down is the past. Yes, there’s value in remembering what’s happened so that you can learn from it, but dragging it around with you doesn’t serve much purpose. Like it or not, the past is over. What’s done is done, and you cannot go back (no matter how much you might want to at times!).
NEGATIVITY – The next load of luggage we need to set down is a negative attitude. For many of us negativity feels like safety. Imaging what could go wrong (or noticing what is going wrong) can feel like a form of self-protection, a way to cope with (or potentially prevent) bad things in life. But focusing on the negative aspects of life is like lugging around a bag of rocks while trudging up a mountain — all it does is make your journey more difficult.
GUILT – The concept of guilt is closely tied with the past, but it’s not quite the same. Even if you’ve done your best to let the past go, you might still cling to guilt, feeling as if you deserve to lug around the blame for something that’s happened, even when you know it cannot be undone. Guilt is a waste of time, and what is life, really, but doing what we can to make the most of the time we’ve been given.
EXPECTATIONS – Letting go of expectations is essential if you want to carry around less weight. Expectations (both of ourselves and of others) often lead to a lot of stress and strife, and quite frequently you don’t even realize how much they weigh you down. They might seem like something beneficial — guidelines that should you what you do and don’t want — but they are heavy. It’s not until you begin setting them down that you realize down cumbersome they are.
OTHERS’ MISTAKES – Finally, something many of us carry around that we really need to set down? Others’ mistakes. The past of others might not seem like something you’re carrying, but you’re likely doing so without realizing it. Whether it’s parents, siblings, colleagues, friends, or children, many of us drag around the weight of what others have done (either because we feel partly responsible for it or because we’ve been hurt by it), and, just as with our own pasts, the pasts of others cannot be undone. Do yourself a favor and set that extra weight down!.
Setting down one (or all!) of these things is no easy feat, but the effort it takes is so worth it. Life is a tough climb sometimes and lugging around extra weight only makes the ascent more difficult. These five types of baggage are the first that came to my mind, but I’d love to know: what else would you like to set down?
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”
Roy T. Bennett,
Cowboy: “Well, I suppose you’ve been alright. You’ve been a decent horse, I guess. A bit slow sometimes, but a decent horse, and…”
Horse: “No, you stupid idiot I didn’t ask you for FEEDBACK! I said that I wanted my FEEDBAG!”
If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
Three sisters, ages 92, 94, and 96 live in a house together. One night the 96 year old draws a bath. She puts one foot in and pauses. She yells down the stairs, “Was I getting in or out of the bath?” The 94 year old yells back, “I don’t know. I’ll come up and see.” She starts up the stairs and pauses. Then, she yells, “Was I going up the stairs or down?” The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea, listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” She knocks on wood for good measure. She then yells, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door.”
You have to be careful about being too careful.
Mary was having a tough day and had stretched herself out on the couch to do a bit of what she thought to be well-deserved complaining and self-pitying.
She moaned to her mom and brother, “Nobody loves me. The whole world hates me!”
Her brother, busily occupied playing a game, hardly looked up at her and passed on this encouraging word: “That’s not true, Mary. Lots of people don’t even know you.”
“There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary and those who don’t.”
This woman’s husband dies and she has only $20,000 to her name. After everything is done at the funeral home and cemetery, she tells her closest friend that she has no money left.
The friend says, “How can that be? You told me you still had $20,000 left just a few days before your husband died. How could you be broke?”
The widow says, “Well, the funeral home cost me $5,000. And of course I had to make the obligatory donation to the temple, so that was another $5,000. The rest went for the memorial stone.”
The friend says, “$10,000 for the memorial stone? My goodness, how big was it?”
Extending her left hand, the widow says, “Three carats.”
“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.”
Roy T. Bennett
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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