I was watching a documentary regarding Sherlock Holmes. It is amazing to realize how influential a fictional character can be and continues to be. Sherlock Holmes was the product of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mind and the principal character in his many famous detective books. The books are as entertaining now as they were when they were first published.
In the documentary they talked about all the contributions that Sherlock has made to the field of crime scene investigation and forensics science. They also mention Dr. Edmond Locard (late 1800s), a pioneer in forensic science who was heavily influenced by Sherlock and became known as the Sherlock Holmes of France. Dr. Locard formulated the Principal of Exchange.
This basic principal says: “Every contact leaves a trace”. Every perpetrator of a crime will bring something into the crime scene and will, at the same time, take with him something from it, and that both can be used as forensic evidence.
It got me thinking how that principal holds true to every human interaction and not only crime scenes. We are always exchanging something with our fellow human beings every time we come in contact with each other, conscious or subconsciously.
“If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…” ― Pema Chödrön
During my daily interactions, what am I leaving behind and what am I taking with me? We exchange touches, thoughts, words, expressions, feelings, and we always carry remnants of that with us. We have lingering thoughts and feelings as a result of those interactions. Do you realize how much we are affecting and being affected by people long after we parted ways?
I often catch myself mulling over things that were said to me or things that I left unsaid, or perhaps things I said that it was probably better left unsaid. I catch myself reliving a moment or a feeling, continuing to be hurt or be happy over things in the past.
I strive to add only good things to people’s lives. I like the idea of leaving people and places better than I found them, but am I really doing that? Are there people out there angry with me, hurt by me? What about the ones that have angered and hurt me? I have said I have forgiven them, but have I really? Or am I still carrying traces of pain and resentment with me?
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. ” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
While I am not in control of what people choose to take from me and from interactions with me, I can help by doing my part of being more aware of my words and actions. I am always striving to be in the moment, and this is another reason to be more conscious of the present moment. What mark am I leaving? After all little marks, little moments, translate into lasting impressions. What am I choosing to leave behind? What am I choosing to take with me? The answer to me is always the same: happiness, joy, positivism. I want leave people with good thoughts and good feelings about me and I want take with me only good positive thoughts and not any negative energy.
I will try to be the first to say I am sorry. I will say more thank you and excuse me every chance I get. I will smile more and hug more. I will forgive more. I will let things go more easily. I will not be ruled by anger and will not overreact. I will not raise my voice. When in doubt, I will err on the side of being nice, patient and forgiving.
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” ― Steve Maraboli
What are the things I have been dragging around from the past? In regards to the crime scene that was the relationship and breakup with Ex, I am happy to say that I firmly believe that the pain, hurt and resentment are gone.
In the beginning I made an effort to remember bad things so that I would be angry at him and forget him. Later I held tight to the good memories as a way to validate the fairytale I thought I had lived. Now I realize I am still holding on to those good memories as a security blanket. They keep me warm on lonely nights, they are comforting, they bring me happiness, but at the same time they are preventing me from moving on. Holding on to what I think I had is keeping me from being free to embrace the future.
I didn’t even realize that I was doing that until now, so writing this now makes me feel incredibly free, strong and empowered. It feels like another page has finally been turned in this book of my life. I no longer need those memories. So, yes I am actually saying that good memories can be bad if they are holding you back from being 100% in the present.
“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” ― Abraham Lincoln
I want to recognize the present moment and give it its fully deserved attention and care. At the same time I don’t want to carry it with me forever to the point of preventing me from embracing my future.
Like the perpetrator of a crime we are all perpetrators of experiences upon other people. So let’s all be more aware of what we are leaving behind and what we are taking with us.