• Kate Nelson-Foster

Do You Have The Nerve To Be Honest With Yourself?



The un-happiest of mortals is that man who insists upon reliving the past, over and over in imagination — continually criticizing himself for past mistakes — continually condemning himself for past sins — Maxwell Maltz

I reworked a familiar scene with a friend today. Around the guilt, anxiety track I ran, recounting why the events in my life keep heading south, retelling tired, old lamentations. Finally, I concluded with a familiar rhetorical question: Am I being punished? My friend gently responded, “I’ve got a hard question to ask you: what are you getting from this?”


The Bad Sitcom Rerun

After some reflection, I came to this realization: I mentally recreate past scenes for several reasons:

  • To gain an illusion of control

  • To relive an imaginary life in which I make different choices the second time around

  • To make sense of unsavory circumstances

In this instance, I figured out that I was replaying the old guilt theme to make sense of current circumstances. Intellectually, I know the antidote is to wait and trust because ultimately, everything will play out as it’s meant to in the Grand Scheme. Still, occasionally I revert to familiar pain, rehashing past situations like a bad sitcom rerun.

What Are You Getting From This?

I wonder if you wrestle with the rerun, rehash, and replay groove in your mind. Like me, by doing this, do you take yourself through a personalized hell? It’s a difficult question to ask, but if you want to live peacefully, it begs the question: what are you getting from this? Self-awareness leads to recognition. And recognition opens up our lives to deliver us from self-victimization; this leads to empowerment. When we feel empowered, we authorize ourselves to take responsibility for our choices.


The Tough Questions

Do you have the nerve to be honest with yourself? Do you have the guts to ask yourself what you are getting from rehashing your past life?

If you dare to ask yourself, “what am I getting from this?” If you dare to follow it out, then you have found one of the keys to freedom!

Freedom, in any case, is only possible by constantly struggling for it-Albert Einstein


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