What is done is done. What is gone is gone. One of life’s lessons is about always moving on and forgetting the past. Moving on doesn’t mean you forget about things; it means you accept what happens and continue living happily.
A couple was going to visit a friend. They waited at the bus stop. Suddenly the husband realised that his wallet was missing. The wallet contained a good amount of money and naturally he was upset. He tried to search all his pockets. He was quite sure he had put it in his left pocket when he left home, but where had it gone? He called his son at home and asked him to check his drawers to confirm he had not left it there. He even re-traced a few steps to see whether he had accidentally dropped the wallet somewhere. But the wallet was nowhere to be found. Dejected and disheartened, he stood there wondering what to do. The bus which he had to board arrived. He wouldn’t get into the bus. Another one came but he still wouldn’t get into it. When the third bus came and he was not willing to board it, his wife asked him, “Are we going to sit and cry here all the time? Are we going to be here worrying about the lost wallet or are we going to move on? If so, what’s the use?” It’s as simple as that. What’s done is done. What’s gone is gone.
Close the door to the past
This is a lesson that each one of us has to learn. There are so many situations and circumstances in life that are not to our liking. But how long can we allow ourselves to wallow in sorrow and self-pity? The call of life is Onward, Forward, Godward! Close the door to the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step on through and start a new chapter in your life.
The call of life is Onward, Forward, Godward!
Another example: when a very dear one passes away, suddenly, how long will we keep on weeping over it? There was a woman who came to me and said, “Three months ago I lost my husband and I have been weeping, shedding tears day and night.” And she said to me, “I am not exaggerating but I tell you literally during these three months I must have wept at least three buckets of tears.” Three buckets of tears, just imagine! I said to her, “You have wept three buckets of tears, has your husband come back?” She said, “How can my husband come back? They took him to the cremation ground, they burnt the body, all we got was a little ash.” Then I asked, “What is the use of shedding all those tears? Why don’t you put your feelings to some useful purpose?”
Her husband was a leader of his community and I told her, “There are so many things that you must be knowing about him that are not known to the people, why don’t you sit and write your reminiscences?” She liked the idea and started doing that. She came to me after a year, on the first anniversary of her husband’s death—she had that book published. And her face was wreathed in smiles. She said, “It was a wonderful suggestion, and I have been feeling so peaceful ever since I have followed it.”
They took him to the cremation ground, they burnt the body, all we got was a little ash
Do your best, forget the rest
True acceptance in the right spirit is a dynamic concept which encourages us to do our very best, to put forth our best efforts to achieve what we desire. But if we cannot achieve those results, you must accept it as the will of God, in the knowledge that there must be some good in it. As I always say, there is a meaning of mercy in all the incidents and accidents of life.
In one of his books, Joel Osteen says, “You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”
I remember how one day Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani visited Manney’s Bookshop in Pune. As we were looking at the new arrivals, I came across a book titled My Philosophy. So I took this book to him and said, “This is a new arrival, may be you will be interested in it. This book contains philosophies of many great ones, but tell me what is your philosophy?” He answered, “My philosophy! The philosophy of acceptance, I know of nothing higher. Nothing outer can hurt you for the universe is not merely just, the universe is essentially good. The cosmic soul is love and humanity is his bride.”
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The grieving is a very complex process as you will know. You cant just say today I close the door on it. One day it does come back for you to deal with. Some people do get over it. I feel this woman will revisit it again in the future.