Control, delete, undo, escape


A couple of days ago I woke up and remembered that I had fallen asleep in the middle of a text conversation with a girlfriend.

When I read over the conversation, it was so incoherent, I happily deleted the entire thread and started over with a cheery “Good morning!”

I am sure this experience is not unique to me and I reckon it doesn’t only apply to text conversations. Many times you wish you could clear an entire experience from your life, press delete and start over.

Other times you do something and realise at some point that you should not have done it.

You want to click on the undo button in your life, but are not sure where to find it. And then again there are those times when you find yourself in such a situation that you really want to press “escape”, but try as you might, the alcohol, medication or other form of escape you consider, doesn’t seem to deliver true freedom.

The reality is that life is not yet offering the same simple options as digital technology and we have to somehow deal with the reality of our present as well as our past.

But how?

Well, one option which may be the equivalent of clearing a conversation is apology.

When things have gone wrong between people, verbally acknowledging responsibility and committing to change presents a helpful opportunity to start over.

Receiving and accepting an apology with good grace is also an important part of completing that transaction. An apology that hangs in the air unacknowledged does not bring about reconciliation.

Another option is to face the source of your fear. If for instance you wish you could make the experience of failing an exam go away, you may find it beneficial to go back to the material, rework it and take the test again.

By committing yourself to persevere until you succeed, you already prepare yourself mentally for success. Too often we give up at the first fall, and instead of getting up and trying again, we remain where we are, and eventually get comfortable with that reality. But life has so much more to offer the brave.

Escaping a bad situation may be more difficult, but the problem is not that one has “no choice”. The problem is deciding for which of the choices available one is willing to pay the price. Bear in mind that even for the situation you are currently in, you are sacrificing something.

So, do you want to keep paying this price for this result, or would you rather pay a different price for a different result?

Sometimes one just needs to examine an experience and mine it for lessons.

Once you establish the positive outcomes that may have resulted even from a bad experience, you realise that there is some value derived and you can then mentally file the experience away and move on feeling stronger and wiser.