When it comes to painful episodes from your past, stop the replay

Stop the replay of painful events.

As a single person, are you preoccupied with your past? Do you wish you could stop the replay of painful incidents and the negative feelings that go with them?

It's hard to explain why we do it. Instead of letting these troublesome memories die from neglect, we continue to cue them up, like a VCR running the same scene over and over.

We know we should be doing just the opposite. Instead of repeating these harmful incidents, we should be recalling our positive, empowering moments.

Why don't we do that?

The myth of the uncontrollable mind

I think many singles bring up their past because they hope there's some way they can change it. Who hasn't given second thoughts to some situation, saying, "I should have said..." But even if we had responded with the most clever remark possible, it still wouldn't have changed the situation.

If you don't have another person to talk with when you get home from work, you usually talk with yourself--at least mentally. You go over things that happened during the day, especially those that were frustrating. After hours of stewing and getting increasingly agitated, you wonder why you just can't stop the replay.

Two reasons stand out. First, we believe we can somehow "fix" the memory by imagining it differently. And second, we've swallowed the myth that our own mind is somehow out of our control.

We blame a lot of junk on Satan that he wishes he could do. The truth is that you have control over your mind, not him. As soon as you accept that truth, you will become confident in exercising that control.

A negative balance in your 'justice' account

Everyone hates to be treated unfairly. When we feel we've been slighted or taken advantage of, an internal compass demands justice. The problem, though, is that the time for justice may have passed.

If we're mistreated often enough, we begin to pile up debts in our "personal justice" account. Some people are able to write off these bad debts as uncollectible, but others can't let them go. They reach a tipping point and snap.

You don't want to do that.

So how can we stop the replay?

We have two effective ways to stop the replay. You can turn your "justice debts" over to God, the way a business turns delinquent accounts over to a collection agency.

This takes strong trust in God. You have to believe with all your heart that he will make things right, in his own way and in his own time. You don't need to keep reminding him and you don't need to go back to those bad memories again.

The second way is to direct your mind to positive thoughts about your future instead of negative thoughts about your past. This takes advantage of one of Jack's truths that the human mind is only capable of thinking about one thing at a time.

Taming your thoughts in this way takes determination, but you can do it. In fact, it's a matter of survival for single people, that's how important it is.

To stop the replay and quit beating yourself up means living in the present and future instead of the past. You use the past as a teacher to learn from, not as a whip to punish yourself with.

As you practice guarding your thoughts, you'll not only see that you can do this, but you'll enjoy the positive way it makes you feel.

Once you learn the lesson, stop the replay. You've graduated from that class, and it's time to move on.

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