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Unpack Your Bags - It's Water Over The Dam

Updated on February 26, 2013
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As humans, we all have our baggage that we'd like to leave behind. As a society, we are communicators who talk too much without thinking about the meaning of our words. Take the phrase “water over the dam”. We use it a lot but do we ever think about the significance of what it means?

Okay, we’re headed for the on-line dictionaries again.

Your Online Dictionary:

"Something that is over and done with, especially an unfortunate occurrence. For example, Last year's problems with delivery are water over the dam, or Never mind that old quarrel; that's water under the bridge. These metaphoric phrases allude to water that has flowed over a spillway or under a bridge and thus is gone forever. The first term was first recorded in 1797; the variant dates from the late 1800s."

Think about it. No matter how badly you want to, you cannot reverse the flow of living water. Well, that's not exactly true. You could build another dam and force the water to back up. But that's cheating.

For our purposes here, let's just deal with the natural flow of things. Water will not stop, reverse its direction, and jump back up on top of that dam. Agreed?

It's All Good

It's a good thing, to recognize that there are some things you just can't change. Some things are better if we think of them as "water over the dam". They belong in the past. So why do we, as human beings, drag them around with us? Why is it that we use all these words without taking their meaning to heart. Why do we say "it's water over the dam" and still beat that dead horse and drag it around behind us. It's time to start listening to the words we use.

How many failed relationships have you had? Wait, you don't have to answer that out loud. Just think about it. Did you explain your pain away by saying "it's water over the dam"? Yeah, I think we all have. So why are you still crying? Why are you still trashing your partner to your friends? Let it go. Move on.

How about the job you lost? When you had to tell your family, did you help them handle it by saying "it's water over the dam". Yep, me too. So why am I still worrying about how it looked? Because I'm human and no matter how big I talk, I do the same thing. I drag some stuff around. But it's all good because for today, I'm thinking about it and it's time to let it go and move on.

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The Lesson

It doesn't matter whether you say it's water over the damn or water under the bridge, the truth is, you can't change it. It's done. Gone. Let it go. Learn the lesson. Move on.

The past is the past. And that's where it belongs.

The future is something you can change. It is within the power of each of us to create a better future for ourselves and for future generations. And the power to create that change is also in our words. Think about those past mistakes and say to yourself with commitment - it's water over the dam and then, start your next sentence with the same commitment and the words - I can. I will.

The Power of Words

When a painter paints a picture, he or she chooses the colors with care. The finished product can be dark or light, negative or positive, depending on the colors chosen by the painter. It is the same for writers. We can write using positive or negative words and the finished piece will represent us as the canvas represents the painter. As human beings, we have the same power in our spoken word. We can remain stuck in the past, playing the victim with words like "I can't" or "I'm afraid" or "It's impossible". And that is exactly what life will bring us. It's the Law of Attraction and you can learn how to use it by clicking here.

If we start thinking about the power of words, and choosing our words carefully, we can attract the best things in life and they are the fuel for positive change. We can unpack our bags; unload the baggage, and leave it behind. Words give us the energy and incentive to reverse negative stereotypes, turn sadness into joy, and make the impossible - probable. Listen to your words and then harness their power.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    OMG Shauna, I do it all the time too. We are so funny. How are you? What's going on in your world. Fill me in.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, greater words were never spoken. One of my favorite allusions to bring to those who feel doomed is to the childhood book, "The Little Engine That Could". I hear myself reiterating, "I think I can. I think I can" more times than I can count of late.

    Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and forge ahead!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you rajan! I appreciate the kind words and that you found this worthy of a vote up and sharing. I am always happy to see you on my comments list.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    This is a very important message. Words have great power in themselves and positive affirmations and letting go things that are past are the most important things for success in life.

    Great hub. Voting up and useful. Shared here.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Nell. You make a great point. Funny how we use these phrases without really considering their meaning. Thanks for reading.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

    Words are such powerful things. We always say water under the bridge, but the concepts the same. It is strange how we latch onto these words, and as you say we should change them to positive sayings. funnily enough a lot of words are from shakespeare, things we never said before he is said to have given us, great hub and so interesting, nell

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks shiningirisheyes! I appreciate it.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Irc- No better lesson for us fellow hubbers to be reminded the power of words. Exemplary hub just for this issue.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Faith, forgive me. I just had to have a little fun. lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Rich. You must not have had anything to do this morning, for you to give my silly question so much thought. It's interesting though. My Dad took me to see Norman Vincent Peale when I was 14 years old. I have never forgotten his words. When I was 16, my Dad took me to hear Billy Graham speak about positive thinking. I haven't forgotten that one either. Indoctrination at an early age has lasted me all these years. Thanks for the great comment.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Linda,

    I know you know I really meant emptying your thoughts onto the page. LOL Anyway, loved this!!! In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda - That's actually a good thing! It means you have people thinking instead of scanning and giving the standard comment. I personally believe that the positive motivation you bring out in our abilities to change our direction and live for the future are true, yet, not addressed by the plateau of complacency most reside. Billy Burden used to preach, "Don't say I can't, I won't, I shouldn't, say I can, I will, I should!" Norman Vincent Peale preached the Power of Positive Thinking, and Stephen Covey outlined our lives "by thinking outside the box" in his "Highly Successful Habits Of Successful People." Many, now out of work, have lived and preached these till blue in the face. Our economy tends to fight us at every turn, and I guess some just are tired of believing what doesn't seem to be the truth anymore. They're not giving up, just facing what's in front of them daily. I always let people take away their own messages and go forth. I did that for ages with the newscasts. I attempted to show the profundity of the news and how it was presented. Some got it, others thought it was pure comedy. It is quite interesting, but, that's what makes the world go around...and around...and around.... lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Rich! Common sense? Do smart phones and iPads use it? I am starting to think that this new generation can't do much of anything if there isn't an App for it. lol What a world. This hub, although not my best writing, is proving to be quite interesting. I don't think anyone who ha read it got the same message from it or, the message I intended. Isn't that interesting?

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda - We live in a world of double standards. Employers want to see what you can do and want you to be successful, yet human resource people will only give you that opportunity if you're young and dumb. Politician's speak of the what they will do in the future and quickly forget the things they've done in the past. Political correctness and new laws are only on the books because what should have been taught at home was not, yet, parents feel that listening to child psychologists and doing things their way is the right way to proceed. Everyone is out to make a buck. New ideas will always be presented just for that reason. Oh, they made a mistake? Don't worry about it. It will be validated and a new publication will come out tomorrow with a different direction. Water under the bridge only means a lack of accountability, pure and simple. When people start owning up to their mistakes again, that's when we start on the path to recovery. Will words alone do it? Haven't yet! Sooner or later, common sense needs to kick in! Great Job!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH - I think I don't understand your comment. :-) What do you mean? It has been 40 years since my involvement in the order so I need a refresher.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear Faith, you are always so kind. Empty my mind? lol That won't take long. Thank you, thank you , thank you! For all your encouragement.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for this. A bit surprising, considering our background, But maybe being a masonic orator, has prejudiced my thinking. Or maybe this is why Oration is an arcane art. Keep up the good work.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Linda,

    I think this is very insightful of you and thought-provoking as to the sheer power of words. I think it is great writing dear one. Words can either bring life or death!!!

    Keep on putting down in words emptying your brilliant mind onto the page. We need you here and we need you to be you---inspiring to all.

    Voted Way Up and sharing. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks Bill. Not my best writing but it was inspired after reading dozens of negative comments on an HP forum thread. I finally got fed up with the negativity and starting pounding the keyboard. Not much planning in this one but hope it conveys what I wanted to say in spite of me and that was, if you don't like it, move on. :-)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Pretty powerful message here, Linda! The power of words! As writers, we should understand this better than most, yes?

    I am big on letting go, and I honestly have little patience with people that always want to dredge up the past. Get on with life! Some people are like pigs rooting around in the mud, looking for scraps of old meals to savor....I'd rather wait for the next new gourmet meal coming down the pike. :)

    Great message my friend; have a lovely afternoon!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    ThanCarol. I always appreciate your visits. Hope you have a great day.

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    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Good explanation and frankly I never thought of that. We learn so many wonderful things here on Hubpages. Thanks for this interesting hub and voting up.