Getting Over It

Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming awakened.

One of various possible translations of the Prajna-Paramita mantra.

A popular phrase in American humor in the late 1990s is "Get Over It!" This command is usually delivered after a brief description of someone else's hangup. It's implication is that the person in question is hanging on to a mental condition that would best be given up. The delivery is usually on the rude side, but humorous. In the tradition of "Just say, 'No.'" and "Just Do it.", this imperative assumes the speaker knows better what you should do than you do. More often than not, that assumption is probably right. Otherwise it wouldn't be funny. The statement has an edge to it. When it is directed at you, you may feel dismissed or disrespected. We'd like to help you get over that.

Let's consider the possibility that getting over it is the best advice you can get. When directed at you, the phrase assumes you are nurturing some faulty belief about yourself or the world around you. It doesn't matter what "It" is. If you are clinging to past hurts or holding on to unrealistic beliefs, you are either experiencing pain or giving pain to someone else and living in delusion.

Through experience, each of us acquires beliefs about ourselves and our world. Often these beliefs give us pain. They may be about our not being good enough or about the inadequacy of our world. Sometimes they are expectations that our needs will not be met. When we habitually revisit these negative beliefs they reinforce our expectations. In fact they have the quality of self fullfilling prophecies. To be sure, if you think little of yourself or believe the world is evil and dangerous the natural way of things will support you in those beliefs. How can you have healthy relationships if you do not esteem yourself? How can the world support you if you are afraid of it?

We encourage you to get over the beliefs that cause you pain. That's easy to say and hard to do. So, we have some suggestions as to how you might do it.


Know Yourself
  • Practice meditation and active mindfulness to develop awareness and clarity of mind.
  • Learn to recognize your internal states. Meditation helps with this.
  • Notice your negative expectations. Try giving them up.
  • Slow Down
  • If you are always in a hurry, how can you notice what's going on around you and inside you?
  • Be Positive
  • Buy in to a positive belief system. There are plenty around and they are free. If your beliefs make you feel bad, consider exchanging them for some better ones.
  • Don't take your beliefs too seriously, especially when they are based on somebody else's experience and not yours. Be willing to give them up when you get new information that fits better.
  • You deserve to be happy. (Notice your response to this statement. If it doesn't ring true for you, what belief are you hanging on to that says otherwise? Can you give up that pain generating belief for one that will allow you to be happy?)
  • Be Humble
  • While it's true that you are a glorious creation of a magnificient universe, so are the rest of us.
  • Be Here Now
  • Live in the present as much as possible.
  • What you did before cannot be undone.
  • What was done to you before cannot be undone.
  • You can only change your present response to the experience.
  • You are responsible for your response in this moment.
  • Living in the present moment is usually less painful than reliving your past hurts or envisioning your fears.
  • Put It In Perspective
  • Misery results from clinging to your pain.
  • Recognize that the present is not the past and the future is what you make it.
  • You are not powerless.
  • The universe is not out to get you.
  • Hope comes from willingness to look forward.
  • Joy comes from satisfaction in the present.

  • We are getting over it. We are going on. Always moving on, always living Now.

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    © 2002 Tom Barrett