So I have a habit: rehearsing what went wrong in a given day – particularly what I didn’t do right or get done. I mean, a few weeks ago things went so downhill; I had a pile of tasks I simply could not complete. I thought about the implication of not taking care of all my business and got super stressed! I not only kept repeating the scenario in my head, but venting about it as well. Plus, I found it didn’t make me feel better. In fact, I got mad all over again or wanted to give up in despair. My husband stepped in and gave some sound advice:
“Go to bed.”
Those three words aren’t deep - but at that moment they were so real! I mean – why in the world was I worried about work when if God was going to wake me up, it would still be there? So I rested well and finished my work the next day. But work isn’t the only thing we need to lay down at the end of the day.
I think about all the time and energy I have wasted not letting go – particularly dealing with conflict. I remember one situation with someone had me wanting to….reach out and hug them around their neck! (Read between the lines – LOL!) But when we let out anger and complaints build up, it impacts other parts of our lives. Even the bible addresses it by saying, “Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.” (Hebrews 12:15 MSG). We say, “Let go, let God” but do we really let go?
A lot of times…no.
No matter what unfinished issue concerns you, sometimes you can only do one thing:
Be done with it. At least for the time being.
So as we start our work week, there will be some things left undone, right? Or as we bump heads with someone, the conflict may not end right at the moment. So how do we finish each day and let it go? Author, life coach and motivational speaker Valorie Burton shares how!
From “Finish Each Day and Be Done with It!” by Valorie Burton from valorieburton.com:
LEAVE YOUR WORK AT WORK. If you work from home, do the same. When your work day ends, mentally shift from professional life mode to personal life mode.
LET YOUR TO-DO’S SPILL OVER INTO THE NEXT DAY. Often, to-do lists are quite unrealistic. Be honest with yourself about what you can actually accomplish in a day. If something doesn’t get completed, move it to another day. Put your to-dos into proper perspective. Sometimes we stress out over tasks that are not urgent matters.
EVERY CONFLICT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RESOLVED TODAY. If you’ve had a tough day with co-workers, your children, a spouse or a friend, don’t feel pressured to always resolve the issue the same day. I’m (Valorie) not suggesting that you should avoid difficult conversations, but rather that it is important to identify the right time and place to have them. Sometimes, waiting a day or two can allow heated emotions to simmer, and a more productive conversation to occur.
CLEAR YOUR MIND TO FOCUS ON THE PRESENT. When you find yourself focused on all that you did not accomplish during the day, take a deep breath and make a decision to focus on your goal again tomorrow. Refuse to beat yourself up over moments that have passed earlier in your day that you will never get back. Instead, maximize the moment you are in right now by enjoying it fully. For it, too, will never be regained.
END YOUR DAY ON PURPOSE. Do you sometimes fall asleep on the sofa? Do you drift off to sleep vowing to read one more chapter in a book only to wake up with the lights on and an open book on your pillow? Studies show that most people have a more restful night’s sleep when they have a bedtime routine consisting of dimmed lights and low or no noise in the hour before going to sleep – followed by turning off the lights and resting until drifting off to sleep. End your day intentionally and you will find yourself energized to begin your next day!
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But I want to leave you with this piece, “Finish Every Day” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.”
No matter what we face today, leave it in today. Hope this motivates you for your Monday and days to come!