“Do not regret what you have done.” – Miyamoto Musashi
This is a hard one, but a fantastic achievement for those who can do it. As you train, and your moral standards raise, you look back in embarrassment. Even if it wasn’t your deed, but one done to you, so many feel the shame. What you are doing, is remaking the event again and again. What is worse, is that you are remembering something that didn’t even happen! That takes some explanation. You remember an event, but if that event had been recorded, you probably wouldn’t even recognize it. You certainly wouldn’t feel guilty or shamed by it. But you have made this into your home position. Part of you wants to roll in this emotional shit and then eat it. Stop now.
It’s not any one victory, it’s the ability to devote the totality of yourself toward some goal. You are blocked by walls of wet toilet paper you could easily pass through, but for your childhood training that has cast you as a “loser.” Your “Matrix,” world has deprived you of authentic meaning, purpose, and identity, and it its place, offered shit.
“Laughing Pirate,” is part of our mnemonic, and each time you recite it, I want you to smile. Remember that laughing and smiling are techniques for emotional control. It is hard to do either while you are filled with doubt, fear, or anxiety. Often times you can change a situation just by smiling. And this is a specific training exercise. But for now we have to focus on two major points.
Can you laugh when thinking of your past? Or do you rage one moment and then be almost moved to tears when you think about how unfair it was.
It is easy to lay there and regret the past. You can’t change events as they happened. There is a very strong chance that you have already changed them as you remember them. If someone had a video of the event that distresses you, and it were possible to make a video of the movie in your head, and if you played them side by side, they might well be very different. The only trace of the event is in your head. Were it possible to erase that memory, it would be as if it never happened. More to the point, what distresses you is not the event, but your emotional reaction to the memory. Imagine that you had a cat that kept remembering a mouse that bit its ass when the cat was a kitten. Now, each day it remembers this event from ten years ago, and it yowls and rages for a few minutes on the floor by your feet. You may well be doing the same thing.
Get over it. Don’t think about it. But if you must, then remember it the way you would have like it to be. The cat can “remember” eating the mouse. The man can “remember” beating the bully from his childhood. And you can “remember” saying something very clever to that asshole so long ago. You can pretend there is such a thing as a “normal” family, and that you had one.
There are times when you say the wrong thing. Other times when you don’t do what you think is right or just. These can haunt you. A little thing can be alike a grain of sand in a clam’s shell, eventually becoming a pearl of self recrimination. Don’t do this, shit it out and get on with the adventure .
If you pay attention you will see that most of the time no one notices, or even remembers the event. It was maybe a non-event, something you have blown up and created yourself. We need to erase this, clean your soul. Play the movie over again in your mind, but instead of cringing, apologize for the transgression. Also, you can write a letter, text, or email, explaining yourself, and then send it nowhere. There is only here, now.
So for right now focus on being in the arena. I would like for you to remember all the events of the past whose recall causes you chagrin, and then laugh at them. And as you laugh, imagine them all turning into dust, like a vampire in the sunlight, and being blown away.