By Judy Berman
Suppose you could jump into Doctor’s Tardis. If you could turn back the hands of time, what would you do? What would you change?
Fear and regret are the thieves of dreams.
Regret over things you cannot change steals away precious time from the present.
You’re unable to let go of the past. Old hurts, broken friendships, misunderstandings, bitter exchanges that you wish you could take back.
I recall a time I was mulling over a bad work relationship as I was out walking my dog. I stood there in the yard, rooted to the spot and rehashed one painful scene.
As I looked across the yard, in the dark, I could see my neighbor sitting on his front porch. He probably thinks I’m crazy, I laughed to myself.
Yet, here I was … five years after I’d left the job, still agonizing over how I was treated and wondering what if …
What if we could wipe the slate clean and begin anew? If only, we could just say, “I forgive you. Do you forgive me?”
Well, a year or two later, I ran into my nemesis at the beach and had a bit of insight into how I could resolve this.
I flashed a smile her way and gave her a cheerful hello. She froze, glared at me, did not return my greeting and walked away. I thought, “Well. I tried.” And I Iet it go.
That felt good.
It’s also not the end of the story.
A couple of years later, she saw me at a basketball clinic where I was reporting, and ran up to talk to me. I’d like to say that she had an epiphany herself, but she just wanted me to interview her daughter.
I did. Inside, I was chuckling. No hard feelings. I’d let it go some time ago.
Fear also harms the future by paralyzing us into inaction. “Well, there’s no sense writing a book. No one will buy it,” you rationalize as you squander your time playing Candy Crush on the internet.
What will the day bring we ask as we peer out the window.
Happiness is always ahead of us.
You reason that things will be better if you win the lottery or after you get a job that pays more. Or, life will be a dream once you move across the country.
At one time, I dreaded my long commute to work – 55 miles each way – and wanted to land a job closer to home. The move wasn’t in the cards.
So I hunkered down to do the best I could at the newspaper I worked at. Before I knew it, I had a new appreciation and a better attitude about my workplace.
Things were really turning around. When I wasn’t looking to move, that’s when an opportunity opened up … and with mixed feelings I decided to go for it.
When you dwell on the past or worry about what the future will bring, you’re missing out on the best part: today.
Make the most of it. Put regret in your rear-view mirror. Look fear in the eye, and embrace a new challenge.
I’d like to thank a visiting priest at our church, Father Eugene O’Reilly, whose inspiring message about the thieves of our time – the past and the future – prompted me to write this post.
Video Clip: Doctor Who – Rose – series1 – BBC ‘ “Is It Always This Dangerous?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX-R1lfycmw
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Photo: Tardis – Doctor Who, author: aussiegall, Sydney, Australia http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7e/Dr_Who_%28316350537%29.jpg/480px-Dr_Who_%28316350537%29.jpg
Photo: What Will the Day Bring? Taken Oct. 29, 2010, author: Alex Proimos, Sydney, Australia http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cc/What_will_the_day_bring%3F_%285124379114%29.jpg/640px-What_will_the_day_bring%3F_%285124379114%29.jpg
Photo: Free – Mountain biking – taken Sep.t 5, 2012, author: Pdemile http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f5/Free-ride.jpg/640px-Free-ride.jpg