by Lee Milteer
The problem isn’t just our life style; it’s also how we use our existing life energy. We all have something I call energy leaks - those self-defeating behaviors that drain our energy by creating anxiety. Energy leaks occur when we use our mental or emotional energy on our thoughts, worries, doubts, fears, and grudges.
When we cannot maintain our energy level, we cannot learn new skills, adapt to new procedures, and assimilate changing directions. An energy leak that almost everyone has is wasting life by trying to live in the past or the future.
How many times have you caught yourself saying things like: I can’t wait till 5 o’clock, I can’t wait ‘till Friday, ‘till my vacation, ‘till I get married, ‘till the kids get in school? When we daydream of the future or spend a lot of time comparing how the past was better, we are actually stealing from our current life energy to be in the present.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking: Things used to be so much better; being a kid was so great, when I was younger? The problem in doing this is that you’re stealing from the one true resource that can’t be replaced - Now. All you have is this moment in time. Our present time is so precious, yet we act as if it were okay to waste the only thing you really own in life: the present.
Your time and energy should be at the top of your list of most precious resources. It’s the steps you take in the present which will allow you to manifest whatever it is that you want in your future. The bottom line is your point of power is always in the resent.
A most damaging energy leak is holding on to angry feelings—bearing a grudge. As an example, Tammy is a friend of mine; she and her husband had just moved into their first home when she found out she was expecting their first child. The new house needed a complete paint job, so Tammy’s father offered to come over and help her paint.
After two weeks of hard work in close quarters, Tammy and her father began to get on each other’s nerves. One day they had a raging fight where both of them said some very nasty things to each other. Her father ultimately left the house angry and refused to come back and finish painting.
They haven’t spoken to each other since the big blowup, leaving Tammy so upset that she bursts into tears at the mere thought of her father. Tammy’s husband wants her to call her father for a reconciliation, but she remains adamant that it’s his place to call her.
After all, she is expecting her first child, and he deserted her in the middle of this huge painting job, even though she recognizes the blow up was really over a misunderstanding and nothing to argue about. She stubbornly maintains that she is right. The problem here is that she would rather be right than have peace in her family and this energy leak of worrying about the rift in her family is creating unhappiness for her.
No matter who you are, you have some type of similar story from your own life. So many times, we hold onto our righteous feelings, even when it hurts us. We are too stubborn to give in and admit that we are 50 percent of the problem. The amount of life energy that is consumed by clinging to who is right drains us from seeing other solutions and reconciling with the people we care about.
Worry is a useless emotion. Since your brain doesn’t have enough information to worry accurately, you’re making it up, and most likely, it’s 100 percent worse than reality could ever be. If you have unhealthy emotions of imagined fears or worry, the body responds with a tense feeling of nervousness, stress-related illness, fatigue, lack of energy, and loss of creativity.
Ever heard this saying “the fearful die a thousand deaths, the brave only one”? When you live under fear of what might happen, you are so physically exhausted that you are unable to be creative and cope with normal challenges or emergencies that might happen. Make a vow to yourself today to cross a bridge only as you come to it.
You must take back your power in life by staying in the present and dealing with the realities. You are not a victim of circumstance; you make your own internal environment. You are the creator of your life by your thoughts and actions.
Your subconscious mind will produce whatever you ask for; just as a computer doesn’t care what information you put in, it will act on that information. We must stop letting worry control us.
Samuel Johnson observed: “The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.”
Our society has conditioned us to feel guilty. It’s a learned emotional response. We have been taught to believe that if you feel guilty, it shows that you’re a good person who cares. Guilt is a neurotic behavior that our society has come to accept as normal. It has nothing to do with caring. It’s pure manipulation to control other people.
Since the pain of guilt makes us feel so bad, we will do just about anything to please others so we do not have to feel guilty. By feeling guilty in an attempt to show that we are sorry for our actions and really care, we are in reality simply getting into a very un-resourceful state of mind and beating ourselves up in an attempt to change what is now history.
The past is a locked door, and whatever occurred cannot be changed. Your regret doesn’t make things any better. Feeling guilty has never fixed any problem. Guilt simply holds you prisoner of the past and immobilizes you from taking resourceful action in the present.
The more you dwell in the guilty state of mind, the less creative you can be in dealing with your responsibilities of the present. Now is all you have in life the future is created by the choices and steps you take today. We choose how to use our life energy.
To really be a fully functioning person, you must learn from the past, not whip yourself because of it. Mistakes should be treated like a speck of dust in the eye: you identify the problem; instead of condemning yourself or feeling guilty for having it, you quite simply just get rid of it. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be free from the problem.
GRUDGE RELEASE LEVERS
Many people ask how it could be in our best interest to forgive someone who has betrayed, humiliated, abused, or rejected us? Over the centuries, religious leaders have counseled us to turn the other cheek; today’s mental health professionals emphasize that forgiveness implies that you’re responsible for your own emotional needs.
Since you only have so much mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional life energy, if you spend it holding onto negative or angry feelings, whom do you really hurt. Yourself, of course.
When you are plotting revenge, going over what you would like to say in your mind, you drain positive creative energy that could be used in a more resourceful way, such as getting some projects done or having fun.
You never hurt the person you are holding the grudge against. You end up hurting only yourself because of the time and energy wasted. Food for thought - is it possible to reframe this situation in your mind?
Remembering that people do the best they can with the knowledge they have, you can choose to forgive them. That doesn’t mean you agree with what they did. Maybe the bottom line is that they didn’t really mean to hurt you.
According to Sidney and Suzanne Simon’s book, Forgiveness: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Get on with Your Life, “Forgiveness is a by-product of a long process of healing, and only after you acknowledge, work through, and let go of hurt can you lead a full life.”
They went on to say, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning what someone did, or forgetting it, or absolving that person from responsibility. Forgiveness doesn’t mean they get off scot-free. It means you get off scot-free: you do it for yourself.”
To forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to write or call or even go to see them. All you have to do is forgive and release them in your mind. Every time you think of that person, do a pattern-interrupt on yourself and say to yourself that you forgive and release them, and then send them positive thoughts.
The advantage of using this type of approach is that the next time you see them or someone else brings up their name, you’ll no longer have that negative emotional reaction. You’ve raised your standards of living and given yourself the leverage to create emotional management for yourself; you achieve this by forgiving them and letting go of the emotional baggage you’ve been carrying that needlessly drains you of energy.
According to mental-health professionals, taking responsibility for your own feelings by choosing to forgive can boost your self-esteem and your ability to feel in control of your destiny. Studies have shown that when people are able to forgive and let go of their hurt and/or anger, it can open the way to resolving seemingly unconnected problems such as compulsive overeating, drugs, alcohol abuse, and depression.
You have everything to gain and nothing to lose but self-pity, anger, and resentment if you give yourself permission to forgive and release. Being 100 percent responsible for yourself extracts you from the perspective of being a victim. The act of forgiveness gives you the peace of mind. I love the old saying, “The best revenge is living well!”
We are really toughest on ourselves and usually expect to be perfect. If you live your present life by comparing yourself to the mistakes of the past, you only undermine your confidence level. What you focus on expands for you. If you focus on and relive your mistakes or failures, you are simply reinforcing why you cannot succeed in the present. Never reinforce the negative! Instead, spend your life energy focusing on what you can do.
Everyone has a few skeletons in their closets. When I look back on some of my mistakes, recalling the times I’ve hurt people and said or done the wrong thing, I have to acknowledge that I was doing the best I could at the time with my knowledge, skills, and resources. It’s clear I made mistakes,but I can’t continue beating myself up in the present, futilely attempting to change history with my bad feelings or guilt.
I must have the courage to face myself, accept the learning experience, and move on. I also want to remind you that your entire life will be a matter of making mistakes and failing from time to time. The point is to forgive yourself, learn the valuable information, and move on. This one act of releasing the past, and not letting it use up any more of your life energy, will free you to be more at peace with yourself.
Releasing that stored-up negative energy that has been clogging up your system will open your creative channels of energy to become more productive.