The longer we live the more experiences we add to our collection. We tend to categorize events as either “good” or “bad” to ensure we either return to, or run from them in the future. These references take up space, energy and prevent us from learning the lesson embedded within each event. Things may just occur, yet other times we might make poor choices or decisions. It’s part of this human experience.
The smaller things we don’t like are easily swept away in the sea of excuses, occasionally lapping back up to shore to briefly touch our feet, retreating just as quickly. They surface from time to time and we are able to acknowledge them, letting the associated feelings go. Once in a while though it’s not a gentle wave that hits us, it feels more like a tsunami. Tossed to and fro in the current of regret and remorse we find it hard to move, breathe or find solid footing. We may fight, thrash or even think we are succumbing to a circumstance which feels like an end in of itself.
These are the Giants in our lives.
The reminders of colossal errors in judgment which may have impacted us in very real and frightening ways. We may find ourselves financially, emotionally or socio-economically altered, perhaps our bodies have manifested wear and tear from years of neglect, stress or mistreatment, or our careers may have gone up in smoke as a result of one moment in time. The possibilities are unique and endless.
The common thread between us is what we do when these emotions overtake us and our response system kicks into over-drive. We all have the very same ability to choose to react or not. If we can somehow find a way to calm our minds we create an opportunity to extract some value by reframing the outcome regardless of its impact.
In the Japanese form of self-defense called Aikido the principle of nonresistance is used to cause the opponent’s own momentum to work against him. Its premise is that even the attacker is safe from injury by utilizing various holds and circular movements to immobilize or throw the enemy in an almost harmonious way despite the seemingly negative circumstance.
It is by nature an exploitation of the attacker’s initiatives to the gain of the person defending him or herself.
So it is with our own mental Giants. If we can adopt a practice of acceptance, past events are harmonized into our life in a way that even in the presence of pain, fear and facts we can continue to move forward. This enables us to deflect the negative impact back onto itself and off of ourselves. The reality of the situation may remain but our reaction to it has changed. We no longer resist, struggle, dwell on or try fix it. We apply nonresistance letting the feelings attached to it pass right by us.
In this way we stop re-living the memory and can instead focus on finding peace where we are at, being present in the moment.
Some may believe that acceptance equals defeat. The reality is that a redirection of energy occurs when we spend less time lamenting over situations we just cannot control. That energy is better spent on ourselves to heal, help others, engage in hope and aids us in our commitment to keep moving forward. I have heard it said that “yesterday is a cancelled check”. It is of no value when trying to cash it today.
For better or for worse this life is uniquely ours. Dwelling on either the good or the bad keeps us away from the possibility of what may come next by wasting precious energy and time. The bigger the Giant the harder the fall, and the more apt we are to play the scene over and over again in a futile effort to reconcile it in our minds. There can be peace within our imperfect lives when we learn to let the past claim the memories and accept that they are meant to stay there. I am not suggesting that it is easy, but it is deliberate.
It is strength training for your soul each time you get back up and take your next step, despite what the circumstances or memories try to dictate.
Let the Giants fall.