N is for NEXT
When we began this race, we expected to win. We didn't plan to lose. But something came along, and got in the way. We slow down and focus on the wrong things. We say, “Oh no, not that!” and then that thing happens.
We learn from our mistakes, if we can extricate ourselves out of the hole we sometimes dig, blaming ourselves or others for those errors. You've heard it said before, “when you're in a hole, stop digging.” I like this statement because it contains the dose of humor we so humbly need when we have been challenged, and perhaps didn't fight the war as cleanly or swiftly as we should have. We focus on the disappointment of the now, rather than the possibilities of the future.
But we survived. Perhaps that is what we should be grateful for. We live to fight, love, write, do whatever it is our work is on this planet, another day. We have accomplished enough to have a second chance at that challenge. It hasn't defeated us. It has, in fact, made us stronger.
Regret is a debilitating emotion that does no one any benefit. We live in the past when we regret something. We second guess another choice and how that would have benefitted us. We don't see the perfection in what has happened, what was accomplished. A friend of mine once wisely said, “We get negative when we forget all the great things that have happened to us.”
In truth, being grateful for what we have received (again, the donut analogy), and not focused on what we don't have is renewing and life-bringing. Being grateful requires we be in action. We do the tools we know help us. We sharpen our sword of discernment, we oil the mechanisms of our tongue and our body language, we become calm and receive messages rather than send out hateful ones. This is how we prepare for the battlefield of the mind. We contribute. We defend against the darkness by receiving the light.
We get up, dust ourselves off, and say Next. And we look forward to our compelling future.