Looking Out My Back Window #303

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Originally published on Facebook HERE

This week I’ve been revisiting weird little painful memories throughout my life. Not big painful memories at all – I’m talking about small moments in life that keep coming back to me now and then, where I did or said something I either regret or it ended up badly for me. And I’ve been trying to maybe document them and see if there’s a recurring theme at all, or a reason why something that really seems somewhat insignificant has lodged itself in my memory banks. And there is. In almost every case I felt embarrassed. Extremely embarrassed. Enough so that the intensely negative emotion has lodged those memories in my brain. I really don’t like feeling embarrassed at all. I can’t imagine anyone does. But as I’ve been collecting these thoughts and writing them down, I’m also thinking – how can I reframe this? I can’t just keep berating myself every time one of these pops up, which are usually attached to thoughts about what a shitty person I am. I mean really – does that make sense at all? “I said something stupid when I was seven years old and I’ve been embarrassed about it my whole life – I’m such an asshole.”… really? Makes no sense on the surface, does it? My guess is you all know what I’m talking about here, though – and you have your own pockets of small embarrassing moments that get relived here and there. Because life doesn’t make sense. It’s full of dichotomies. Good/bad – Happy/sad – thinking mind/feeling mind… uh, what? Ah… thinking mind/feeling mind. Embarrassing moments hit the “feeling” mind. The thinking mind says “well this isn’t anything to be concerned with – such a small thing, just blow it off” – but, no. This is not how life works. The feeling mind seeks the things that make us happy and will go out of its way to avoid the things that have hurt us in the past. Who do you think it is having a conversation when we talk to ourselves? Thinking mind vs. feeling mind. Feeling mind: “you should buy that”… Thinking mind: “it’s not anything I really need at all and it costs $6000 I don’t have, so – probably not”… Feeling mind: “Just throw it on a card, you only live once”… etc, etc, etc… trying to balance the two is the work of a lifetime. So, how can we reframe embarrassing moments from the past? In my case I took the time to compile a list of painful memories so I could look for recurring themes (embarrassment). Then, drill down a bit as to why these specific moments hurt enough to lodge into the memory banks. Did I learn anything by having lived through those moments? Am I a better person today because of the knowledge I obtained from them?… and if not, what can I get from looking back at them to make me a better person going forward? A couple situations involved comments I made in situations where I didn’t have all the information available to me, but I gave my opinion anyway thinking I did – and I came off sounding bad – and/or was immediately corrected due to that fact. So I do think those memories help make me more cautious about speaking before I feel like I have all the knowledge available first. A couple are just “slip of the tongue” things, where I used a word or a phrase that either was taken very badly or as soon as it left my mouth I saw it as an unfortunate use of words. Again – teaching me to be a bit more cautious about terms, phrasing, and maybe using sarcastic humor as well. Not everyone understands sarcasm. Being a musician most of my life, it seems ingrained into that lifestyle. But maybe not to be used with everyone. We have so many things we can beat ourselves up about. Maybe it helps to look back at moments like this with some compassion as well. Realize that life will have embarrassing moments. We won’t ever be perfect. We will make mistakes. We’ll say or do things that won’t be taken well by others. And it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re a bad person at all. We’re just human, like everyone else. And we all have these moments. We can’t change the past, but we can use the past to create a better future sometimes if we move forward with the right mindset 🙂