Groundhog Day – 2/2 meeting

Who here has seen the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day”?

In the movie, Bill Murray keeps reliving his day over and over….until he gets it right.

Each time Bill goes to bed he wakes up at 6am to the same alarm clock playing ” I Got You Babe”

Over and over again.

At first, this is a bummer to Bill.  He gets mad, he gets depressed, after all, he is stuck in the same rut every day and nothing he does gets him out of it.

The next day still starts with Sonny and Cher again

Does this sound like any of you.  Each day starts the same and you seem like you are on an infinite repeat cycle?

But eventually, Bill realizes that the way to his producer’s heart is actually to use this infinite loop he was living to help others and learn some stuff.  He starts taking advantage of his never progressing calendar and becomes a better man, and yes, eventually, here’s the spoiler, gets the girl and the calendar finally moves forward to February 3rd, and we don’t have to hear Sonny and Cher any more.

How many of you are stuck in your own version of Groundhog Day?

For me at least, there are three steps:  Put it in your past, Forgive, and Decide.

To get started we need to recognize that we change and that we are actually composed of three selves.

So lets start our work with our past selves.

One of the most effective ways to start that process is to write a letter to your past self. Start by picking a point in time that you did or didn’t do something and by doing or not doing something, the course of your life went in a negative direction. 

Now, your homework is to go home and complete your letter.  Let the letter absorb all those bad emotions that you have been walking around with.  Make it a time of coming to terms with that moment in the past.  

If you have more than one of these moments, and most of us do, write several letters.

Now the hard part.  Do one of two things with your letters.  Either rip them up destroying them, or put them away and do not revisit them.  Both work.  View it as a cleansing, a resolution.  

This is one step in making the calendar flip to February 3rd.  Here is another.

The next “self” we need to work on is our present or current self.

Forgive:  Not others, ourselves.  Some of us are stuck in our Groundhog day loop not because we can’t forget, but because we can’t forgive ourselves for something.

We all make choices every day.  Most of the time we do not even think about it because things turn out well.  But once in a while, a good choice can give a bad result.  Our minds then go back and revise that routine good choice and try to convince ourselves it was a bad choice.

Is it possible that those good choices were only proven bad through the lens of time?

Simple example:  We decide we need groceries.  We take the action of going to the store.  We all do this all the time.  Good decision, good action.  We eat!

But this one time, On the way to the store, a drunk driver smashes into our car.  A random unpredictable occurrence.  What do we do?  Well, we start questioning ourselves like the outcome was our fault.  Did we need those groceries?  What if I had stopped for a coffee first?  What if I had gone a different way? 

What if?

We had a good decision, a good action, and a bad result.  We question ourselves, trying to blame ourselves, as it somehow was our fault. 

And we start to beat ourselves up over it. 

We are not Nostradamus, we do not know the future.  We are more like TV weather people.  Based on our education and the data on hand today, we think we know what will happen tomorrow.  

But we don’t.

Was our decision right?  Yes we needed groceries.  We were hungry.  

Was our action right?  Yes we got in the car to get groceries

Was the result good?  No, but based on everything we knew at the time we could not have seen this result.  

Everything we did, based on who we are and what we knew at the time, was right. 

So lets go one step further…

From time to time in this group we talk about finding and being our authentic selves. 

But what about that past self of ours that we will be writing our homework letters to?

Could that self of the past be a different authentic self to the one that is sitting here today, our present self?

My guess is, that for most of us, it is.  

The bottom line is we all learn, we all grow, we all experience life, and over time, who we are, our authentic self, changes.

Are you the same person you were 10 years ago?

Our wants, our needs, our values, over time, they all change.

Now go back and think about that past self you started your letter to a few minutes ago.

Is it possible that that person’s authentic self was different from the one sitting here today?

Is it possible that the you, you are writing your letters to, based on their authentic self at that time, was actually making a decent choice based on who they were and what they knew at that time?

Could your past self actually have been making the right choice for you at that time?

Isn’t it possible that those choices were only proven bad through the lens of time.  That our mind has rewritten the entire episode because of the result, not the initial decision?

Isn’t it possible, and not just possible, it is even the right thing to do, that if, your past self made the right choice, at that time, that maybe, our current self, should give our past self a break.

That maybe, our current self should quit beating up on our past selves and move on.

After all, the past is the past.  We can’t change it.  It happened. Learn from it and move on.

Leave the baggage by the curb and go forward, not back.

Flip that calendar to February 3rd.

Now, we take on the biggest challenge of them all, our future self. 

It is time to decide.

Now we are flipping that calendar, what are we flipping it to?

What does February 3rd look like?

What do you really want out of life?

Is what you want different from what you currently have?

You made the commitment and flipped the calendar, now, how do you get to tomorrow, and what do you really want tomorrow to be?

Stepping out that door into tomorrow can be scary.  

Do any of you remember coming here for the first time?  Honest now, how many of you just stayed in your cars the first time you tried to come here?

There is no easy way to get to your future self, other than to realize you have done it before.  You are here.  Every one of You stepped out of your car, your February 2nd, and made a change in your life to come in this door, looking for help, looking for a better life.  You can do that again in your life, because you have already done it, you are here. That is all the proof you need. 

You have been brave.  So be brave again.

Just like Bill, it make take a few February 2nds to reach  your February 3rd. You can do it, but only you can do it.  Do it by continuing to try to make actual change in yourself.  

Overwhelm your overwhelm with thoughts of what your future life could be, if you just take one step forward.

And if that step doesn’t get you where you want to be on the first try, be like Bill, and take another, and another, until you get there.

As we get older, we realize that time is rather fickle and rather finite.  

We realize, we have no control of how many tomorrows we have.  

We realize that if we do not go for our dreams today, we might not have all the tomorrows that we need to get to where we want to be.

Take it from me, a guy that should have died at least 24 times if it weren’t for modern medicine.

My clock is ticking much faster these days and it only seems to speed up.  

One chance and that is now.

Tell yourself, “Today is the day”  Because today has to be the day.

Today I move forward toward what I want my life to be.

Today, I do what it takes, no matter what that is. 

No more waiting to see if a large rodent sees his shadow. 

No more February 2nd.

Today is my time and today is the day I move the calendar and my life forward. 

Move toward your future self. 

Be Brave, don’t waste even a minute being afraid, because there is no greater treasure than time and wasting it by staying stuck in your present self rather than trying to get to where you want to be is simply not acceptable.  Not for any of us.

Only you can do it and no matter how afraid of that first step you are, you have to take that step.


No matter how you feel right now, the story of your life is much bigger than you know.  If you let it be.

There are unexpected possibilities within each moment, and today could be the day that everything shifts for you. 

But you have to take that step to experience that shift to your future self.

That shift that could change everything.


Make your life the best it can be.

Be Brave.

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