Letting Go of Painful Memories….

“A trip down Memory Lane would be more pleasant if we could detour around the rough spots.”

” You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” – James Allen
 
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which everyone has many…not your misfortunre, of which evryone has some.” – Charles Dickens
 

    Sometimes it is difficult to let go of the painful memories of the past. For some reason, it is easier to recall bad things than good things. The good news is that we don’t have to allow those hurts to continue to keep us from being what God wants us to be today and in the future. Some ideas on putting the problems of the past behind us are:
     Accept God’s forgiveness. We are taught through out the Bible to seek and recieve God’s forgivness. There are also many Scriptures that teach us to forgive others whe we have been wronged and also to seek forgivenss of those we have wronged. It is interesting to note however, that we are never taught to “forgive ourselves.” Maybe one reason is that it is impossible for us to do it. We don’t have that power…but God does! Do you allow your past regrets to keep you from being your best now?  It all goes back to accepting God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the memory is forever gone, it just means it is not an issue anymore.
    We should learn from the past but not try to live in the past. Can you imagine driving on a busy highway while just looking in the rear view mirror! You would be in a wreck and possibly hurt others.  The same is true in life, you will continue a pattern of damaging your life and your relationships with others by just dwelling on the past. We can allow learning from the past to teach us and to refine us but it doesn’t have to define who we are now in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ; he is a new creation; the old is past away; behold, the new has come.”- 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
     The truth is that, although we can’t change our past; we can change how we think about it. As we have learned to absorb the pain of the past , it allows us to continue to go on with our lives. A good place to start with this change of attitude is to focus on God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. It is also helpful to think of all the things we are thankful each day. Most of all,  we must allow God giude us in this process… “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and in the streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43: 18-19 (NIV).

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