How to clear the slate

Clear the slate. Every day is a new day. Any moment can be an important moment of decision that changes everything.

Would it be helpful to you to keep a journal or diary of your thoughts? Whatever has been bothering or pleasing you, write it down. Some find it helpful to keep the writings as a reference. Others find it cathartic to “get it off their chest” and tear up or burn the bad thoughts or mistakes. Keep trying but don’t be too hard on yourself. You aren’t a loser or an idiot because you made a mistake. Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself. The path on your journey was never going to be perfectly smooth. Now that you know better and are more experienced, move on. If you are persistent, you will make progress.

Resentment takes up a lot of energy.

Roman Catholics have the sacrament of reconciliation to address the past and begin again with hope. Clergy from all religions are trained as counselors to offer solace, comfort and advice. Every community has mental health professionals from psychologists to marriage counselors offering support groups and individual therapy. Talk to your parents, teachers and friends. If you need help, don’t procrastinate and make the problem worse. Take action. Whatever your problem, there are responsible people who will help you. If you don’t like one person’s ideas, ask another. If different people give you the same answer, you’d better listen. Help yourself.

Be a friend. If you are close to someone who may benefit from professional mental health care, take the risk and tell him or her. Don’t give up on them. Use that persistence. Help others.

Consider how people who have had near death experiences talk about reappraising their lives. All of a sudden big problems and concerns don’t seem that big. All of a sudden, little things like smiles and kind words and birds singing and sunsets become important. They may speak of their lives having new purpose and of living to enjoy every precious minute of life. You don’t have to wait until you are on your deathbed to look back and wonder “What if?” You can start appreciating and living your life now.


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