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Fresh StartIt’s a new year, and news programs are showing a retrospective of the previous year’s events. In a way, we do that to ourselves, thinking of all the things that have gone wrong, and making resolutions so we don’t make the same mistakes again.

Here’s what I think. Regret is a residue. A remnant of a time that no longer exists.

You wouldn’t feel sad if someone handed you a fossil and said, Here’s a rock from the Mesozoic Era. You’d say, Cool! An interesting artifact. After the fascination wears off, you’d think, Kay then. Can I sell it on e-Bay?

Guilt is a vice. By that I mean, of course, it’s a bad thing, but it’s also a grip that doesn’t let go until you pry it loose. It should be regarded as just as lethal as all the other vices that take hold of us: smoking, drinking to excess, drug abuse. Guilt takes years off of your life and takes the life out of your years.

If you harnessed all the energy wasted on guilt and regret, you might find you’re actually some kind of superhero!

You say you’re a stockbroker? Now you’re NumberGirl! Conquering the indecipherable industry of derivatives and diversification!  

A plumber? Now you’re ClogKing! Clearing clogs like nobody’s business! Making showerheads run at optimum speed!

Look out world!!

Well, that… or maybe you’ll just have enough zhoosh still left in your soul’s holster that you can create the kind of prayerful, peaceful life that was your heart’s desire all along.

Your life awaits, my liege! It’s yours for the taking. This is a brand spanking new year. What are you waiting for?

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The other day, my laptop stopped working. It had no power at all; just a black screen and silence. At the computer repair shop, the technician took out the battery, plugged in the cord and pressed the power button for several seconds. It turned on and I nearly fainted with relief.

He explained that, rarely, a computer may reach a point where there is so much energy being used that it just calls it a day.  It shuts down and leaves town.

Oddly enough, on the day before my laptop died, I had my own it’s-all-too-much moment. Things started to weigh on my spirit and I had quite a cry. Later, I realized that I had been thinking of negative things, some of which had happened years ago.

It was like taking a virtual tour of old, bad neighborhoods that don’t even exist anymore. Like walking through the remains of a factory that makes obsolete things, like Square Wheels, or Maps for Men. (Just kidding, males of the species! Nothing but love for ya.☺)

There really is no benefit in re-hashing things that were unfair, wrong, or hurtful. The people who did those evil deeds will have to answer for their own bad behavior, but you have the right to let go of what’s wrong. In fact, you have an obligation to your own soul to release what doesn’t serve you. Staying locked into that one location in time is like saying, I don’t want to move forward. I don’t want to feel good. I don’t want to live well.

Focusing attention on what you don’t want means you’re not scanning the horizon for blessings already headed your way. It means you might miss the good life that wants to find you, because the bad life of the past has filled the parking spaces earmarked for joy, warmth, and camaraderie.

It may be time to hit “refresh.” Visualize your life, exactly as you want it to be, in living color. Think of it as a palate-cleanser for the soul.

You’ll find that this choice comes in some form every day:

□Lightness/levity

□Darkness/despair

Do you know what happens to misery when you finally decide to obsess less and say yes to what will bless? In no time at all, it has join Elvis, who – as you know – has left the building. Yep, it shuts down and leaves town.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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