Then, one random morning, as I was thinking in the shower (as one does), I had a sudden revelation: As someone who frequently suffered from intrusive thoughts over past pain (as many of us do), could this "mind like water" approach be applied to these thoughts as well?
I started writing out all the things that bothered me on a continually recurring basis. All the bad things I had done. All the bad things that had happened. This wasn't anything special; I just journaled the events, with an attempt to identify why these memories stuck with me, and still caused me pain, and what, if anything, I had learned from the experience. Within weeks, I was mostly finished. It's a Word doc, weighing in at about 25 pages, last I checked.
The difference was nearly miraculous. There's very little else that has changed my life so profoundly, and none so quickly. It's been, probably, 8-10 years ago now. I almost never have intrusive thoughts now. I still do things I regret, of course, but, with experience, I make smaller mistakes now, and my maturity in handling them has caught up to their magnitude, and there's no longer a huge gap between the action and reaction. To use a computer analogy, I cleaned out all my old core files, and now I use a garbage collected language anyway, so I'm not wasting all that disk space any more.
I'm relating this in the off chance that someone like me could see it, and benefit from this as well.
I have never been as prolific as a songwriter since I became generally happy, but reading your comment gave me strength in remembering how much pain I used to be in and how things turned out not so bad after all.