Last week, I found a pair of sandals I hadn’t worn for years: didn’t even recall that I owned them until I opened the box they were in and saw them. (Hmmm. What does that say about my shoe collection? It’s not that big…really!)
Anyway, I remembered the shoes were quite comfortable and excitedly slid them on right away. I took a few steps and suddenly my past was in my present. I had worn them during the spring and summer of 2001 when I was in a job I hated and in a marriage that was just about dead and taking our souls with it.
I flashed back to walking through a quiet neighborhood in Palo Alto CA past modest (but way overpriced) homes with beautiful flowerbeds, enjoying the sunlight on my shoulders but grappling with the heaviness in my heart.
All of the anguish rushed right back: so much so that I immediately took the shoes off, put them back in the closet and entertained thoughts about giving the to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
It’s strange how we store memories in our bodies in ways we don’t hardly know. Even though it had been almost 10 years since they’d been on my feet, I was right back there on the streets in northern CA, sad and angry.
So here I am now in Phoenix, enjoying life as an entrepreneur, living with a man I could have married 36 years ago instead of just 6. (That’s another story. If you haven’t heard it, ask me about it next time you see me.)
I shared my keep-them-or-give-them-away dilemma with my husband a couple of times until he basically said (lovingly), ‘make a decision or quit lamenting’.
Here’s what I’ve learned from this .
1. Choose your future
Sometimes it’s hard to envision a positive future when your present is flooded with unpleasant thoughts, feelings, emotions and circumstances. You have options. Bring the future you desire into existence through the power of declaration.
2. Never give up
Too often, people are discouraged from their goals when they seem difficult to accomplish. It would have been easy to put those sandals back in the box and drop them off at a donation center. But I choose to keep them and therefore deal with the (what turned out to be) temporary discomfort of the memories.
I decided I could make NEW memories in the present. So I started wearing the sandals at every opportunity and – Voila! The pain diminished.
It was similar to the breakthrough I had when I quit smoking 15 years ago. I realized that when the urge to smoke struck and I distracted myself for just a few minutes, THE URGE WENT AWAY! That was mind-boggling for me.
The same thing happened with the shoes. When I decided I was bigger than the memories, they started to fade. My body started experiencing and remembering NEW details that over-wrote the ones that had been stored in the shoes and the soles of my feet laying dormant until they were joined together again.
Because of the choices I made, the nicotine lost its grip and so did the memories of the bad job and ex-husband.
3. Move steadily forward toward your goal.
On occassion, an image or conversation from the past returns to my consciousness. Because I believe and say “You are not the boss of me!”, the pictures and words don’t take hold. They are disempowered. They learn their new place in my life and I am free.
So when adversity strikes, look toward the future with determination and faith and act consistent with your desires.