How much time do you spend thinking of the past. Past failures, regrets, disappointments and mistakes? How often do you take a guilt trip down memory lane? How often do you let your past into your day and affect your thoughts and decisions?
Many people allow their past to continue to affect them simply because they don’t make a conscience decision to leave the past behind. Here’s a little story that puts a funny spin on one trip we take too often; the Guilt Trip.
I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant, and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”
I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been.
No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.
As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event, the Annual Pity Party.
I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the town’s leading citizens would be there. First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol’ Wish and his clan.
Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday’s. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Then Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It’s Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don’t Blame Me and I Couldn’t Help It.
Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent “pity party” could be cancelled by ME!
I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY.
I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address.
Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them. So, if you’re planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now.
Instead, take a trip to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful.
By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy baggage because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town. If you can find it, it’s in your own heart. Please look me up. I live on I Can Do It street. – Story by Larry Harp
Time for Change
Joyce Meyer shared this story in one of your teachings and it reminded me of just how much our thoughts affect us. We have a choice on what we think about, who we spend time with, what we spend time doing and what we talk about. All of these things greatly affect our present and future. Sure, we can’t do much about our past, but we sure can refuse to let our past hang out with us. We can leave our past behind. We can learn from it but we don’t have to repeat it. We can embrace new things. We can embrace change!
WHAT is something in your past that you are allowing to stay in your life. What needs to be locked up tight so it doesn’t get back out? WHO is in your life that keeps bringing the past back up? WHAT rules or requests have you put in place so you can successfully leave the past behind? What steps are you taking to leave it out and KEEP it out?
Mistakes, regret, sorry, disappointment and failures will always invite you to spend time with them. You have a choice to just say NO. 🙂