You-cant-undo-the-past2I am  happy to announce that my great doorknob and hinge replacement project in my house is now complete.  While my intention was to replace every doorknob and hinge, there were a few unexpected problems which resulted in a few things that didn’t get changed. It became a matter of deciding how long I wanted to fight with them or just leave them where they were. Did I want perfection or was I willing to compromise so I could make progress and get this project finished? Sometimes we have to choose the path of least resistance and learn that replacing can involve re-cycling the useful elements of the past and integrating them into the present.

Most of the hardware replacement was fast and easy. And then there were those few times where the new hinge didn’t fit quite right, or the old doorknob had been badly placed so when I put the new one on, the screw holes weren’t in the right place. There were a few screw heads that were stripped during the initial installation so they wouldn’t come out. The new hinge screws were a little longer than the old ones and in some cases, I had to recycle the old screws because the new ones wouldn’t fit.

With all of these issues I had to re-consider my original plan of replacing everything and amend it to allow for those things that simply could not be replaced. Did I want absolute perfection or was I willing to compromise so I could make progress and finish the project? So one old hinge remains, and a few have old screws. They aren’t noticeable and it was a matter of deciding how I wanted to spend my time and energy and when this project would be finished. I could fight with things that obviously weren’t ready to be replaced, or work around them.

When we decide to make changes, our intentions can be good but we have to fit them to the situation at hand. Flexibility is required because we don’t always accomplish exactly what we want in the way that we envision it. Then we have to decide whether we keep pushing forward or regroup and do some creative recycling. Sometimes completely replacing things from the past isn’t possible and we have to compromise in a way that meets our needs.

We’re being faced with so many changes right now, some of them involve our lives, some involve other people (or things). When a total overhaul isn’t possible, maybe it’s because we need to keep the useful parts of the past and let them become part of the present. It’s something I do with my coaching clients, when they are working on releasing old patterns, habits, and beliefs. I ask them to explore the beneficial aspects of a situation or relationship, which becomes part of the lessons they learned and can use as stepping stones for the new life they want to create.

As you are making changes in your life, if you are stuck or trying to change something that isn’t quite ready for an overhaul, is there part of the past that you need to recycle? Can you find a new use for an old part of your life that can be repurposed into something more fulfilling? You can’t undo the past, but you can re-cycle, re-purpose, and re-new what you think of it. And recycling is how we create a new purpose for something old.

When things don’t work out exactly as you wanted them to or thought they would, it’s not a failure.  Expectations of perfection put a lot of pressure on you and limit your options and outcomes. Instead, let the easy releases flow and focus your time and energy on things that bring you joy. When something isn’t quite ready to go, its purpose in your life is not quite complete. So decide how you are going to integrate it into your new path and purpose and move forward, rather than trying to make it go away and feeling stuck when it doesn’t. Compromise doesn’t mean compromising yourself or your dreams, it means integrating everything into a flow that works for you. As long as the end result serves your needs, that’s what counts.

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