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Do you ever find yourself wishing that life offered a rewind button? Maybe you found yourself in a heated debate with a loved one and unfiltered, angry words spewed from your mouth, leaving you wishing you could take them back. Or perhaps you passed up an opportunity that seemed too good to be true due to self-doubt, only to later feel regret for not having gone for it. Maybe there is someone in your life who broke your heart and you found yourself wishing you had never met him/her.

I know I’ve certainly had my moments, and plenty of them. But fortunately life does not offer a rewind; it keeps on playing. But you can take a moment to pause.

Have you ever noticed that the play button on most electronic devices and remote controls also serves as the pause button? This is a handy option in life when you’re wishing for that nonexistent rewind button. Pushing pause welcomes a moment of reflection. It allows you to look at the incident you would like to do over. Rather than wishing you could take it back, erase it, or do things differently, you can reflect on what you have gained from it instead.

You see, life is a series of moments woven together. The outcome of one event leads to the next and so on and so forth. If you were able to rewind so you could change up some things, you’d alter the entire course of your life, which means that you could end up deleting some of the amazing things that occurred because of the difficulties, mistakes and heartache. Hardly seems worth losing some of those golden moments just to remove some of the bad ones that are now in the past.

There’s something even more important that hitting pause allows you to do—forgive. Being angry and resentful, sitting in victim mode, only means you’re stuck in the past. You’re attaching to the expectations you had that didn’t pan out. You’re pissed at yourself for not having acted in a different way, for not having seen the signs. This means it is time to forgive you. You made a mistake. No big deal. It’s life and it happens. Hit pause, extract the value, forgive you and the event or person, if needed, and resume play, so that you can move forward.

My challenge for you is to stop searching for that rewind button. It does not exist. When you find yourself stuck on a hurtful experience or negative situation, simply push pause and allow yourself some time to reflect. The following are some questions to help guide you with your reflection.

  • What lessons did I learn from the experience?
  • What obstacles or fears did the experience help me overcome?
  • How did the experience help me learn more about myself?
  • How did the experience help me to become more of the person I want to be?
  • In what ways can I find gratitude for the experience?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a more positive overview of the entire experience, allowing you to let go of what you need to, and resume play.