The Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda game is a dangerous game to play.
I could have.
I would have.
I should have.
I’m pretty logical. I know there’s absolutely no point in thinking that much over the past. I’ve made my mistakes, my choices, and now I live up to them. The only thing I, or any of us really, can do is move forward. To take what we have in our current situations and abilities and go from there in our future decisions.
Drop your old baggage. Nothing kills happiness more quickly than old hurts, resentments, and grudges. If you are spending your precious time stuck in a sad story from the past, realize that you are being affected way more than anyone else. Wrap all of that pain in a vast cocoon of love, then move on with clarity and grace.
I came upon an old friend with whom I have a complex history. I wish nothing but the best for them and I hope that they are phenomenally happy. At the same time, however, I’ve been jealous of their success, their changes, their life because I used to be a part of it in a huge way and I “could’ve” done different things to affect the future. For whatever reason, our paths were laid out in different ways because of our choices and I can’t keep looking back on what I “should’ve” done differently. Rather than be bitter or constantly nostalgic (as I tend to be when it comes to this person), I need to look back on all our memories with affection and humor, because that’s always been our relationship. The more happiness I wish for them, the better I’ll feel about ridding my negative emotions. Also, I need to stop stalking them on Facebook.
I’ll feel better when I let it go. Part of me whispers that I’ll never be able to, but I’m hoping I do it in the way that’s positive–where every time I reflect, it’s fondness. It’s taken me a few years to get to the point I’m at now, so maybe by the time I’m 30, I’ll be completely over it. Just kidding. I hope it’s sooner because I know I’ll be happier when I’m not thinking about it at any given point. Playing the “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” game only hinders your ability to live presently in the moment. It will stop you from enjoying your current experiences because you’re too busy looking backwards. That’s no way to deal with life and I’ve been doing it for far too long. So from now on, I’m going to do my best to look forward, towards decisions that make for a terrific tomorrow, because I know I’ll be happier in the long run.