Saturday, November 14, 2009

Letting Go

"Would you rather live your life keeping an inventory of self-hate, or look back on your life and count all the ways you found your life to be beautiful?"
-Sheila Lewis

Ask almost anyone and I think you'll find that, if they're honest, they'll admit there are things of which they've had a hard time letting go. I'm one of them.

A short time ago I drove through a stretch of city street which used to be quite familiar. It was obvious I hadn't been there for some time as most of the buildings were new, filled with signs of businesses that weren't even in existence at the time I considered this place my neighbourhood. Even the building where my father worked when I was a child had long since changed hands. It hit me, as these things have far too often lately, that we can't go back.

Realistically I know we can't expect anything to stay the same for thirty years, let alone one or two. Progress and people move forward, leaving memories both wonderful and painful behind. The one common denominator that ties this all together is that we can't bring back the past nor can we change it. We can only remember it as we choose to, for better or for worse. The only thing that colours our memories of the past will be our attitude.

Those of you who know me or who have been reading me for any appreciable amount of time are probably aware that I'm very much a romanticist in the way I view things. And while it certainly allows me to look at life much more positively, it isn't always beneficial. Because through generous helpings of denial I tend to hold on to things I shouldn't, sometimes for a stupid amount of time. Not through grudges towards others (which are destructive all around), but through events that can't be changed. The 'what ifs' and 'should haves' are often sharing a room with me, or so it seems.

Regret has reared its head more times than I care to remember over the course of my life. However recently I've taken a far more philosophical approach: what if events that may at first seem disastrous and random are meant to happen? Perhaps through what first may seem mis-steps and mistakes we are in fact heading down a path that we're meant to follow. Again, what colours our perception of these occurences as they happen is our attitude.

So, I can look back with pain upon the events surrounding my car accident last year or be thankful for the strength I've gained since. I can spend my time missing people who have come and gone from my life, or appreciate those I've recently met and the moments of happiness that have been brought into my life. At the end of the day the amount of time spent is the same, it's up to me to use it in a way that's beneficial and not self-destructive.

Time moves on and can be cruel sometimes. People come and go, painful memories are hard to forget and joyous occasions can't be bottled and relived, as much as I'd like that to be possible. So I think it's up to us to honour every happy memory by making a new one. And that's easily attainable, because all we have is time. Instead of spending it let's invest it, so that when we inevitably look back on our life we can count all the ways we found it to be beautiful and smile for a life lived to its fullest.


  1. I am so very proud of you. You've come a long way baby! I love the "Nothing lasts forever ..." quote. I learned back at about 22 that it doesn't pay to regret life. I spent a long time before that regretting things but since I very cathartic weekend, I discovered that since there's nothing you can do about the past, you might as well not regret it. Live life to its fullest, be the best person you can be, try to make life better for others ... what more can you ask of people ... and you do it quite successfully.
    I love you so much.

  2. I do this to myself all the time. I hate doing it but somehow it always seems to rear its ugly head. It does seem to be getting a bit easier, but as I said in a recent post, birthdays seem to be the great equalizer and despite looking forward and feeling optimistic, around that time of year, it all comes crashing back down again. But, it's time to look at things from the upside. So hopefully there will be more positive stories and stuff from now on

  3. thank you so much for sharing darling
    and i personally wanted to thank you for the sweet comments you made on my last post
    thanks so much, i really do appreciate it

    check out my blog @

  4. Yes I am planning on doing the diner conversation regular post on maybe Friday or Saturdays. Not many people post on the weekends so I thought it might cute. It's in the works possibily this week or next before Thanksgiving. I think it's a cute idea. By all means if you want to do something similar go right for it.

    I'll be back to read this post a lil later, it's a busy lil saturday. =) Hope your having a good day!

  5. I wish I could be more like you. I really do.

  6. Instead of spending it let's invest it, so that when we inevitably look back on our life we can count all the ways we found it to be beautiful and smile for a life lived to its fullest. - I love this last line. Yes, life is indeed beautiful.

    Barry, I love this post so much. I can so much relate to it. Hugs!