Turning the Page

By Dr. Robert Leichtman

There may come a day when you realize that you are about to “turn the page” in the book of your life. Perhaps you are happily anticipating this change or are being compelled by circumstances you do not control. Or there is a third possibility that life has already changed and moved on without you, leaving you in a state of wondering what happened.

Much worse is discovering that we are stuck on one page in the book of our life and are unable to explore all the other pages we need to discover. So often, what makes us stick to one page is our stubbornness and sense of helplessness in key areas of our life. Other times we remain stuck when we fail to recognize how holding on to grievances and disappointments keep us living in our past and agonizing over what has annoyed us. We need to realize at this point that we have only two choices: to move on and leave some frustrations or to hang on to them and watch the rest of life pass on by us.

In any event, the one constant in life is change, and we need to make a clear choice to cooperate with it rather than fight it or try to ignore it. There are those who can testify that they have tried all three possibilities, and they highly recommend a skillful and wise cooperation with changing circumstances rather than trying to resist or ignore them. They report that it is futile to ignore change, and resisting it usually ends with the changes running over us and leaving many bruises in the process.

What many fail to recognize is that we can work comfortably with change in our life and still retain our principles, honor our key priorities, and respect our core ethics and spiritual nature. However, this needs to be done with flexibility, creative thinking, and a willingness to work with new techniques and styles.

Turning over a new page in our life can allow us to enter into new perspectives and attitudes about life. The entrance to this new awareness is through the doorway of understanding, acceptance, enthusiasm, and where necessary, forgiveness. There is so much more in those other pages in the book of our life, it is amazing we have ignored them this long.

An older person is turning the page of a book that rests on their knee.

Was it a mistake or a lesson?

There are those who agonize excessively about their mistakes. These are usually people who are conscientious and work hard to keep their promises and do their duty. When events to not turn out as well as were expected, there is a tendency to assume we messed up. Either we failed to plan effectively or were not able to perform adequately. Many interpret poor results as their personal fault and pile needless criticism on themselves.

However, it makes more sense to try to see the lessons in these situations rather than dwell on our regrets. There is usually something to be learned in both good and poor performances. In one case we learn what works well and will want to repeat it. When the result is less than sterling, we learn where we need to improve. The larger the mistake, the more we can learn from it.

Think on these things

Written by Dr. Robert Leichtman