There will be no ghost around my bed in the end.
No ghosts of the dreams I could have accomplished.
No ghosts of the love I could have given.
No ghost of regret.
No ghost of fear.
That’s not to say I don’t have those moments that come up. Oh they do. They arrive at my doorstep in full and beg to course their way through my veins. But there’s something that is often overlooked in all of our decisions when we are in the thick of it – choice.
We always have a choice.
We have a choice to act, or even, not act at all. But don’t think that your inaction isn’t a choice. It is. It’s just as much of a choice than action itself. And I know probably better than anyone how bad inaction feels when you are in it. The pressure, mostly internal, begins to build up in your life until you feel like you’re about to crack. Inaction breeds all sorts of bad things – especially when you know you are supposed to be doing something and completely disregarding it.
Not only does inaction build up pressure, it destroys your integrity.
Inaction breeds the weeds of life and soon you can find your mind overgrown with old ways of thinking, old ways of doing things and staying stuck in the same spot you were last week, last month, last year…the story can go on and on.
The only way out is through.
This is why I am writing today about having no ghosts around me in the end because I know that not doing the things I know I am capable of will destroy me in those final moments. Wouldn’t it be horrifying to be at the end and meet the person you could have become if you actually gave it your best.
And when I say giving it your best, I don’t mean being perfect. In fact, I mean being FAR from perfect.
To me, giving it your best means you were being the best possible version of yourself you could have been. I didn’t say anything about how things would turn out, how you would like them to be, how you think they “should be” or anything else like that. No, I mean being the best man or woman you could be with the time you have on this planet. I mean being the best person you could be with the life you have right now, right in this moment, and not putting anything on hold because of the presence of fear or chains from the past.
You have to let all of that go because it isn’t real.
It was real once, but it’s not real now. It was only real when you were in that moment.
But the truth is, all of that has passed. All of it is gone now and the only person keeping any of that alive is you. You are the only one keeping those stories alive in your mind. And the longer you keep those stories alive, the more weeds will grow, the more you will destroy yourself bit by bit and the farther and farther away you will be from living in this moment.
You have to come back.
You have to come back to being right there.
But first, you have to let go. Let go of all of the good things that happened in the past and all of the bad things. It’s not that they won’t come back up in your mind (you have no control over that) but you do have control over your attachments to things. You must, with a smile on your face, open your palm and let the past go. Smile as the scars of old and the times of happiness drift out of your hands and into the wind.
Because when you do this, you’re free.
You’re as free as those memories floating off. You’re free because you’re back in this moment. You’re not thinking about the pain that you felt way back when, the time you were slighted, the amazing moments you had that you think you’ll never have again, the fear you have of never finding what you once did…no, you’re back in the moment…the only moment that really matters.
You have to find a way.
Because if you don’t find a way to let things go, you will be surrounded by ghosts in the end. They will stare at you with dark and angry eyes wishing you could have birthed them into the world. Those dreams and visions have only come to you. They are yours to create and yours to bring into the light. They are also yours to die with if you fail to really give it a shot.
So take a chance. Risk. Risk it all.
You might put yourself in the way of future pain but that’s ok. On the field of life, you’re always going to take some hits. But the flip-side of all of this is that you give yourself the opportunity to really live. You get to be the person you always knew you could be. You get to be free what from happened and start writing yourself a new story.
You get to really live.
So let go.
Be right here.
-Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project