Things to Leave Behind

By Carrie Pokrefke

Today is the eve of the new year.  2015 will start tomorrow.  A new year is a great time to start a clean slate.  And what better way to start a new year and a clean slate by leaving some things behind, back in 2014.

Like what?  Are you thinking about things like a jump drive or the term “selfie?”  I was thinking about some other things like….

Playing the Victim
Life happens.  Bad things happen to good people.  We can sit around and play the victim or we can accept the situation that happened and move forward in life.  Is there a benefit to playing the victim?  I don’t see one.  You can sit around all day and have a pity party for yourself, but all that does is waste time and energy.  Instead, focus that time and energy on moving forward.

In 2015 – Be your own advocate.

Avoiding dealing with things that need to be dealt with in life
Some people are very good at avoiding dealing with things.  They would much rather ignore the issue or situation instead of dealing with it.  I don’t understand this scenario because sooner or later, whatever they are avoiding, will surface.  (This is especially true of feelings.)  And it’s usually much worse later on than if they had dealt with it when they should have.  Also, by choosing to avoid dealing with something, you run the risk of losing more and more in the process of avoiding.  And sometimes you can lose something that is priceless.  Then you have to avoid dealing with losing out on something else and then the avoidance cycle continues.  Avoid avoiding and you avoid losing out on more.

In 2015 –   Deal with things head-on.

People who don’t want to be in your life
There is a popular saying that goes, “People who want to be in your life will always find a way.”  That’s so true.  They will find a way to spend time with you, visit, call, help out, send a card or a text.  If not, they will find an excuse not to do so.  if they give you an excuse – pay attention to that excuse.  Are they using that “excuse” from doing something with you or for you, yet are able to use that same “excuse” to do other things in their life?  If the “excuse” is not enough time or money – are they just choosing to use that resource on something else besides you?   Have you reached out to someone and not gotten a response in a long time?  Or maybe you are always the one checking in on another person.  It may be time to leave that person and that relationship in 2014.

In 2015 – Keep people in your life that want to be there and show you they do.

Do you find yourself waiting until conditions are perfect before you act?  Or waiting on someone else to do something that you could do for yourself?  Or waiting for that call or email?  Stop.  Just stop with all the waiting.  Instead, take action.  If you are waiting for multiple things to line up before you yourself take care of something, go ahead and get up and take care of it yourself.

In 2015 – Start doing.

Putting your happiness in someone else’s hands
Take a second and imagine that you are responsible for someone else’s happiness.  At all times, you must give them exactly what they want, when they want it and how they want it.  You may not always know the specifics of what they want, though.  (They themselves may not know, either.)  And, if you fail to “make them happy,” you will be faced with that person screaming, crying, throwing a tantrum or something else.  This is what you have to face the rest of your life.  Doesn’t seem like a fair deal, does it?  
Happiness isn’t in circumstances or other people.  Do you find yourself saying, “When I move to Istanbul I will be happy?”  Or, “When I get married, I will be happy?”  Or how about, “When Sue finally agrees to go out on a date with me, I will be happy?”   Don’t be a “when-er.”  Take control of your own happiness and don’t burden others with that responsibility.

In 2015 – Accept that you already possess everything you need to be happy.

Toxic Relationships and People
Toxic people show themselves in many different ways.  Are there people in your life that drag you down? Lie to you?  Have yelled at you?  Belittled you or your actions?  Kept you guessing what their motives are?  Is there someone in your life that constantly lies to you?  Someone who is passive-aggressive?  Said nasty things about you or your family to you, to your children or to your family or friends?  Maybe there is someone who makes you question what you think or who you are?  Is there someone who has damaged your things?  Hit you?  Maybe you’ve had to call the cops on someone because you were scared for your life?  These are all signs of toxic people.  And these people are best left behind in 2014.

In 2015 – Surround yourself with good people.  

The Past
The only way to move forward in 2015 is to leave 2014 – and every year before then – in the past.  Do not beat yourself up about what has happened.  Take what has happened as a lesson.  Love yourself.  Love others.  And leave the past exactly where it is.

In 2015 – Live in the present.

Each grudge you hold against someone is like carrying a rock in a bag on your back.  If you are holding grudges against more than one person, you have multiple rocks in your bag, weighing you down.  The more grudges you hold, the more you are weighed down.  Holding a grudge against someone doesn’t harm them, it only harms you and holds you back.
A friend recently asked what forgiving someone meant.  To me, it’s removing the rock from your bag with their name on it and leaving it behind.  We are not doormats, though, so it’s important that if someone keeps committing the same wrong against you that you consider removing not only the rock with their name on it, but the person, too.

In 2015 – Forgive the people who have wronged you and move forward.

Or, you can wait until 2016 to leave it behind.  But it’s best to leave this bad habit in 2014.

In 2015 – Do things ahead of time.

Not Taking Chances
When presented with an opportunity, what’s your first reaction?  Is it to say, “No?”  Have you ever stopped and thought about what the honest-to-goodness worst-case scenario would if you said “Yes,” instead?  What are the chances that you might actually die if you said, “Yes?”  Probably zero.  This is a lesson that took me a long time to learn, but I’m so thankful I did.  I realize that I am more likely to regret not doing something than trying something new.

In 2015 – Take a chance.  Say “Yes,” when you are tempted to say, “No.”

Just don’t.  They don’t work.  You may have a temporary weight loss, but that’s about it.  There is no room in 2015 for them.

In 2015 – Eat well and exercise.

What are some things that you plan to leave behind?

Things to Leave Behind

Things to Leave Behind