“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be Power.” Blaine Lee said that in the book, The Power Principle.
And, since my theme today is “moving on,” I will talk about my life in terms of the theme. From one perspective, my life has been about moving on.
When I look back at all the major turning points in my life (college, divorce, career changes, relocations,) they’ve each been about moving away from something familiar and moving on to a new learning experience.
Perhaps it’s reaching the half-century mark that’s made me so retrospective or maybe it’s just that time of year. But as I pondered possible blog topics, the concept of a life review came to mind.
I remember a conversation I had with my second husband years ago. He was sixteen years my senior. We were discussing regrets. He was 42 and I was 26 at the time, and I said I didn’t have any regrets. That might seem like a predictable sentiment coming from a twenty-something. But the truth is: it’s still true today.
As a hypnotist, I consider myself to be in the perception business. I help people find ways of looking at their lives that give them more of a sense of empowerment. Like the man says, “change or loss don’t make us victims.” The only person who can make you feel like a victim is you.
I think the reason I don’t have regrets is that I don’t see anything in my life as a failure. Everything is a learning experience.
I didn’t always think that way. In fact, after my second divorce, I went around calling myself a “two-time loser” for a while. … that is, until my godmother got ahold of me and came down on me, as Uncle Ernie would say, “like a herd of turtles.”
Miraculously, somehow, somewhere, the lightbulb went off. That was around the time I read The Nature of Personal Reality. The book exposed me to two ideas: “The point of power is in the present.” and “Your thoughts create your reality.”
I won’t say the concepts were brand new to me. It was more like running into someone you vaguely remember from a long time ago. When I read the book, it was like finding an old friend. “I know this.” I said to myself. “This feels right.”
Since that time, in my late 20’s and after my second divorce, I’ve never looked back until now, and I kept moving on.
Now that I have decided to look back over 50 years, I can see that accepting those two ideas as part of my core life philosophy has made more of a difference in who I have become than all the other persons, places or experiences combined.
Remember: No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. That split second in which you go from thinking about doing something to actually doing it, that point is filled with incredible power. And, if you feel stuck in life, just take action. Any action can have the same effect as rolling a snowball down from the top of a precipice. It gets things moving on again.
I remember when my sister was 16 and I was 20, she asked me what she should do with her life. She couldn’t decide. She was afraid of choosing incorrectly, of making a mistake. I told her, “Just DO something!! If you decide it wasn’t right for you, you can always choose something else.”
She never did decide. She’s 46 now, and still lives with my mother. My theory has always been: If you don’t choose for yourself, life will choose for you. I’d rather take my chances with my own choices.
One of my favorite activities in life is watching movies. I confess I am a videophile. A favorite movie that fits well with this theme is “Sliding Doors,” with Gwyneth Paltrow. In the movie, you get to see how life changes for our star depending on the choices she, and the other characters, make. In one scenario, she leaves work early and comes home to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman. She leaves him on the spot and eventually finds her soulmate. In another scenario, she stays at work just an hour longer and ends up living with her boyfriend years longer and never meets her soulmate.
Regret happens when we look back over our choices and say, “If only…”
As I prepare for the next 50 years, I’m excited to think about what new adventures life has in store for me. Whatever they are, I’m sure I’ll just keep moving on.