We write off financial losses, medical expenses. What if we could simply write off life’s bad times? Cross them off the paper on our yellow legal pad entitled My List of Bad Experiences. Eliminate them with a deft and quick movement of our blue pen.
With the flick of some ink, they’re gone. Over. Written off.
What a relief, it seems, to get rid of the bad experiences that remind us that we didn’t do right and highlight in bright yellow our wrong.
Except… When we write off bad times, we also apply whiteout to our lessons learned from our bad experience. And, when we erase our wisdom gained from those tough times, we’ve just doomed ourselves to repeat those same bad experiences over and over.
We can keep the bad experiences, realizing that, as Maya Angelou says, when we know better, we’ll do better.
It’s alright to have experiences that seem full of mis-communications or mistakes or mis-steps. Write about them so you can process what happened and what you now understand and know. Write about your gratitude for what you’ve gained because of the bad experience: compassion, perspective, patience, a coping strategy, a voice.
Write about what seemed so wrong. The bad experiences become the story that shows you how you’re better today and give you the chance to be even better tomorrow.
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- In Six Words, How Do You Define Caregiving? (caregiving.com)
- A Community Caregiving Journal… (caregiving.com)