Sunday, September 05, 2010

Functioning Wisdom

I heard a wise man say recently to not allow circumstances in life make you become someone you don't want to be. That concept has stayed with me and continues to churn in my brain.

We all have experiences that are what I call "defining moments," meaning that the way we see the world and our place in it are changed after them. I'm sure you've known people, as I have, that get "stuck" after something bad happens to them - that they can't ever move past it and go on. That's one example of letting a circumstance make you someone you don't want to be.

Occasionally, people will mention to me that I keep large parts of myself private. I suppose that's true. I thought everyone did that. I've really been thinking about that lately and there are a couple of things at work for me. One is that the "bad" things are just not things I think people would want to hear about. Another is that I don't want to give credence to them by giving them voice.

One of the amazing things about the past is that it's over. It's done with. It's finished. All we have to do is let it go. That should be easy, because it's over. But we often insist on keeping it alive - especially the bad stuff. We relive it mentally, rethink how it might have been different, and keep it alive. It becomes a prison of our own making.

I choose to let go, as much as is possible for me.

I have my own list of "Top Ten Rules for Living" and one of them is "Let it go. Let it be. Let it lie." That seems to suit this circumstance well. Another of my rules is "Blame nothing, Forgive everything." It, too, seems apropos.

One could easily assume these rules are wisdom handed down to me by elders, perhaps in some ritualistic ceremony. Or, less romatically but more accurately, one could realize they are just personal truisms that simply allow me to function. "Function" is so much less poetic than "wisdom." But, I suppose we can't have everything, and functioning is good. Good, indeed.

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