He snarled and complained about his job. A friend of his, who worked for another company, had recently received a promotion. “Some people get all the breaks!” He went on to talk about his friend who didn’t have to work near as hard as he did. There was no sense of joy for his friend. Nor did this man seem to take responsibility for anything related to his own career. Rather, he complained about how everyone else seems to get all the breaks.
I have learned there are some things in life that are best forgotten. Now I haven’t always practiced this. I can think of years in which I was stuck in unproductive thinking. I allowed too much futile thinking to take up space and time. Yet, how I think and what I focus on really do impact my life.
I want to suggest that some things need to be forgotten.
Forget what might have been.
Some people spend much of their energy focused on what might have been. For them, life would have been great “if only.” They are stuck in the past.
“If only my wife (or husband) was different.”
“If only I had taken a different job.”
“If only I had been treated fairly in my career.”
“If only I had gotten the breaks my brother-in-law received.”
Forget the entitlement.
Some people go through life believing they are entitled to a certain life. This may be the young couple who believe they are entitled to a certain lifestyle (that may have taken their parents 35 years to afford.) Others believe they are entitled to happiness and seem willing to break whatever commitments they’ve already made in order to experience this. Years ago, a woman used this very expression in a conversation with me. “I’m entitled to be happy” she said. Two weeks later she left her husband and children. People who are focused on their own sense of entitlement will break commitments and abandon relationships if they seem to stand in the way.
Forget the focus on someday.
Some people are preoccupied with “someday.” They speak as if life begins in the future. Someday they plan to save money, get their finances in order, and live within their means. Many people speak of changing their lives someday and quitting bad habits someday. Yet life is experienced today not someday.
Each one of these approaches to life is a dead end street. No progress is made when I am focused on any of these. Life is happening today, not yesterday or someday. I am entitled to nothing. Whatever good thing I experience in this life is a gift of God to be received with gratitude.
What else needs to be forgotten?