Clean it up and let it go
Today, I spilled coffee all over the coffee table (how ironic!) and on the carpet. It was a big mess, but it cleaned up fairly quickly with paper towels and our spot carpet cleaner. This mess is now gone, and I probably won’t think about it again. It occurred to me: what if I tried to do this with things from my past? We all have big or small events that have happened in our lives, that we would like to forget. They have made an indelible mark on our minds and our emotions. We have learned from them, but why do we keep thinking about them? We are just hurting ourselves by mentally holding onto them.
Try this exercise. Think of cleaning up these hurtful memories, like I cleaned up the coffee this morning. Close your eyes and imagine the event as big mess of spilled coffee on your kitchen floor. Slowly, you wipe it up and clean it up in your mind, so it’s gone, and you can no longer see it. You throw it away in the trash and take out the trash bag. The garbage truck arrives, and all traces of the event are gone. They have left your mind and your life. Try reflecting on this and doing this exercise for things you want to forget about, but have trouble letting go of. After you do the exercise, if they keep coming back, picture in your mind the garbage truck taking away the bag of the paper towels of the memories you want to forget. This event is gone from your mind, and you don’t need to carry it with you and let it weigh you down anymore.