When the Past Refuses to Let You Go

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Most of us have memories from the past that refuse to let us go. The reminders of failings weigh us down like over-stuffed luggage. We recall conversations and events—repeatedly. While on the surface, we pretend to have our act together. Depression sets in. We physically hurt. A lump stays fixed in our throats. We’re afraid to tell anyone. Counseling is out of the question because the therapist will think badly of us.

Instead of unloading the junk from our hearts and minds, we keep opening the baggage up, rearranging the details, and reliving whatever happened that hurt us. Each time we unpack the ugliness, we lengthen the time it takes to recover and heal.

Let’s face it. We all have those painful moments. But how we handle the ugliness of our lives shows who we really are. Do we long to be strong or cower into a pitiful mess? I’m speaking to myself here.

We can choose to break free.

Being chained to the past means the suffering person never experiences freedom. Only when we are able to face the problem, deal with the issues rationally, and take positive steps to move ahead does truth have an opportunity to surface. Truth is freeing, but it may scrape our hearts raw. Our interpretations may be false or we have succumbed to lies.

When we can clear our vision, optimism has an opportunity to take root inside us where it counts. That’s when we can begin the process of full recovery, dealing with each issue until the matter is resolved.

Too often our physical health suffers too. Stress is one of the greatest factors that attack our bodies. Been there? Me too?

How can we begin to make sense of events and circumstances that threaten to steal our joy?

  • Write down the memory.
    Read it for truth. Is this exactly how and what happened?
  • Who was with you?
    Is it possible to talk to whoever else was involved?
  • Discover the truth no matter how difficult.
    We may be a victim of a lie or we may be at fault. Choose to accept the truth.
  • Can anything be done to make amends?
    Sometimes we need to apologize or make changes.
  • Seek out an accountability partner.
    We all need a nudge sometimes. That help can be in the way of encouragement or support.
  • Find the courage to put the deed behind.
    Too often we become comfortable in guilt-wallowing. The feelings of insecurity, bitterness, and lack of confidence hold us tight.
  • Follow through.
    All the planning, prayer, and preparation doesn’t do us a bit of good if we can’t take action. If we want to free our hearts and minds from the past, then we have to do the work.

What have you found that works best to rid yourself from weights of the past?