N is for NEXT

Welcome back to day 14 of the A-Z Blog Challenge and my Letters on Gratitude. 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.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 10 comments
Judy - April 15, 2012

This reminds me of an argument I had with my counselor. She listened to a particularly unpleasant event, and said, "You survived." I sighed, and said, "Yes, but I would have liked to have done it with more grace." She eyeballed me, and said with more force, "You survived." "Yes, but I would have liked to have done it with more grace" "Repeat after me, I survived." "I survived." "STOP!" Then I mumbled, "But I would have liked to have done it with more grace." I'm able to look back now, and see, I'm learning to do it with more grace, but I had to give myself time to learn. Love this post.

Sharon Hamilton - April 15, 2012

Thanks. You had a wise counselor! How great that you can see the wisdom of what she was saying. Would that we could do that at the time, but you did. Hey, you survived counseling. Some people never do! LOL!

Love seeing you here.

DL Hammons - April 16, 2012

What a wonderful attitude to live by! Good for you! 🙂

    Sharon Hamilton - April 17, 2012

    Thanks, DL. There have been much wiser persons than I say, "Attitude is Everything." That's why I'm doing the month of gratitude, so I don't forget…

    Thanks for stopping by. Please come back!

shelly - April 17, 2012

I agree with DL. Great attitude. I really like the spot on living with regrets makes one live in the past. It's something a lot of us struggle with.

    Sharon Hamilton - April 17, 2012

    Shelly, I agree, it's one of the things that will pull me down from a really great day: regret. And it doesn't take much.

    But remembering what I do have, and what is good and working, helps me out. Come back again!

Debra Harris-Johnson - April 17, 2012

I've forgiven myself for my missteps in life. It freed me to holler NEXT! Great post. I've enjoyed them all. Your Captcha is on. You might want to take that word verification off.

    Sharon Hamilton - April 17, 2012

    Thanks for stopping by, Debra. How do I disable the Capcha? You can tell I've been doing this a long time, huh?

Kerrie Boyd Thomas - April 17, 2012

Oh how I really need to remember to brush myself off and go forward with enthusiasm!

I'm stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!
Giggle, Laugh, Cry

    Sharon Hamilton - April 17, 2012

    Thanks, Kerrie. Yes, as they say, it's not the falling down, but that you get up that counts. Nice to see you here.


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