Thanksgiving was a low-key event at my house. I spent most of the day watching movies. It is amazing how quickly we can get sucked into a movie binge, and I’m definitely there this week.

The pack was walked, my roomie was making his Thanksgiving dinner rounds, and I found myself blissfully at peace with being alone for the day. The laundry was in rotation and meal prep was ready. Dinner was scheduled for 7 PM, which gave me 8 hours to do whatever I wanted. I decided to veg out and dive into film.

Earlier in the morning, I read online that the new Matrix movie was due for release. Several years have passed since I saw the trilogy, and if I am honest, I may not have seen the third installment. I could not possibly consider watching the latest upcoming flick without a refresher from the past.

It is amazing what happens when we look to the past and revisit those things, people, and places that define who we are. Sometimes, we get lost and it is hard to find our way back to our center and to ourselves. When we look backwards, it is because we believe that we might have missed, lost, or misunderstood something important to our future. Going back to the past often means resurrection. Other times, it simply means remembering why it was left in the past in the first place.

The Matrix defined a few things for me. There are some things in life that just cannot be explained. The series opened my mind to see that things are not always as they seem. In the final fight scene, Neo’s nemesis Agent Smith asks him why he continues to fight for something so meaningless as love. Neo tells him because it is a choice and he chooses to do so. The power of the mind to alter the narrative surpasses our own understanding and therefore we must take a leap in the unknown in order to change that reality. “Love is not real” becomes “love is the only real thing with meaning.” For Neo, it was not simply an emotional decision but a logical one.

Religion, faith, belief; whether in an Omnipresence, Universal Truth, or a Virtual Reality of Divine Design, can shape us for good or bad and influence how we spend our time and our intrinsic gifts. When we waste our time, our energy, and our gifts in destructive or useless ways, we delay our own growth and progress.

This is something that I have been learning over the past two years. Delays cost. Time, love, and money. If we wait too long to leap, the opportunities we seek may be lost. Anxiety, addiction, depression, fear, and the past are all barriers to our future success.  We let our emotions and impulses control our actions and allow ourselves to sabotage the very thing that we want the most: happiness, success, and peace.

Lucky for us there are second chances. Or for many of us, third, fourth, fifth…you get the point. If we continue to do the same thing we have done in the past, without even a slight change or adjustment, then we will get what we have always received: regret.

It is time to let the power of the mind  override the overwhelm of emotion. It is time to channel thoughts, logic, and belief in such a powerful way that it allows us to overcome fear, anxiety, impulsive (mis)behaviors and self-sabotaging destruction. Like Neo, we can power up and power through obstacles simply by believing that we can and then taking positive, forward action in doing so. When emotional sabotage sets in, push back. Not today Satan, get behind me you nasty thing! You may not know whether or not you can accomplish that goal or turn that thought into a lucrative venture, but you will never get results if you let your emotions prevent you from doing what you believe to be right.

At the end of the third movie, The Oracle of the trilogy was asked, “Did you always know?” “No,” she said, “but I believed.” Whatever negative beliefs you have about yourself, release them and start thinking in a new direction. That is a powerful gift for which you can be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.