- Oct 14, 2004
I should have done something yesterday that I didn't do and I'm upset about it. Nothing I can do about it now, but how do I stop beating myself up?
The Art of Detachment
We spend far too much time and effort trying to control things we can't. When we're in a stressful situation and feeling upset, we need to ask ourselves two questions: How much does this really matter in the context of my life, and what can I realistically do about it? We can find that many things that worry us are really unimportant; we've just gotten caught up in emotional contagion and lost our bearings. We may find that we're trying to change things that we realistically cannot change. If that's the case, the wiser course is to accept the inevitable.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." This is the AA serenity prayer. It could serve as well as a mantra for all of us who need more fulfillment in our lives. Detachment and serenity are not easy to achieve. They are goals that we must strive for through mental discipline. We have to learn to stop ourselves, to halt the adrenaline rush that makes us feel that there is a crisis we have to take care of right now. This is where a support group can be most helpful. People who know us well can help us learn ourselves.
We're on a roller coaster. The ride will take us up and down, spin us around and scare us and thrill us. We don't have any steering or brakes and we can't get out. We're better off to look around and enjoy the experience, because we don't get a second ride.
Would'a, should'a, could'a done this and that
Don't wanna live life with another regret
Would'a, should'a, could'a made another choice
I can see more the older I get
Would'a, should'a, could'a said something more
But it's too late - there's a knock at the door
Would'a, should'a, could'a won't change a thing
The here and now is waiting
I want to live my life not only thinking of the past
The future tells me that my life has not been cast
I want to say "I will, I did" instead of could or should
Gonna believe in the promise "It's all good"
--some lyrics from "Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda" by Bob Hartman and Greg Bailey
The other thing, it turns out, in this job you've got a lot on your plate on a regular basis, you don't have much time to sit around and wander, lonely, in the Oval Office, kind of asking different portraits, how do you think my standing will be? (Laughter.) I've got a lot to do. And I like to make decisions, and I make a lot of them.