Sunday, September 11, 2011

How to Leave Your Past Behind

Cambodian Garbage (Photo Courtesy of abcnews.go.com)

Many people live today with the influence, grip and power of the past. They are prisoners of their past mistakes and negative experiences. The grip of the past hinders them from rising above their present circumstances. The power of the past hinders many from experiencing the freedom of the future. The shackles of past is hard to unloose. Yet, regardless of one’s past failure, the future is still future and the past is over.

In this short article, you will find some nuggets of truth that will set you free from the past and will allow you to look into the future with renewed hope. You need to realize that no matter what you have done, past is past. No matter what you feel, think, and do at the present and that no matter what others believe and think about you, your past is over. You may have tarnished your moral integrity, but who is without mistake and failure anyway? Past belongs in the past, and no amount of power and responsibility today can amend the past. Nobody has ever went back in the past and amend his mistakes. No one went back and changed history. No one has ever revisited the past and rewrite history. 

You may not completely forget what you have done and what others have done to you. The memories of your past may torment you when you lay at night. The questions, “Why did I do such a thing?” “Why did those things happen to me.” You may think, “O how I wish I can go back and change how I had reacted when I was tempted.” “I wish I did not put my integrity in jeopardy.” But you cannot back, no matter how hard you want. No matter how many times you say “I wish”, it does not make you feel any better. In fact, it will make what you feel worse. You should tell yourself, “I will do better next time.” “I will handle temptation better.” Saying “I will” for the future is much better than saying “I wish” for the past. Because you cannot go back and change your past, shake and throw what must be thrown away and keep what you must keep. Because you cannot go back and amend your sin, ask God to forgive you and then move on. When the memories of your past sin taunt you, the assurance of forgiveness can comfort you.

The pages of your life yesterday had been written. The sheet is full, whether what has been written is good or bad. BUT the pages of your life tomorrow are blank sheets. Because nothing is written in them, you can choose today what you want it there. You may not fully control what will happen today, but you do have a choice to make. While you cannot go back and change your personal history; you can change your future by making the right choices today. Yesterday is over but today is a brand new day. You can choose to move on regardless of your yesterdays’ failures or you can choose to be sorrowful from your past downfall.

The bridge that will connect you to the past and the future is now. What you do today determines what you will be tomorrow. Your choices affect your future. While you are powerless to change your past, you have the power of today to change your tomorrows. Don’t waste your time regretting what happened to you or what you have done. Instead, invest your time today rejuvenating for a better life tomorrow. Blaming others or blaming the past does not make your life count for tomorrow. Take responsibility today and you will be amazed what you will become later.

Just recently, I saw one of the young teens I once knew 10 years ago. She is now a college student. The meeting was brief; in fact, it was only a few seconds as I was inside of a car when I talk to her. I found out later that she has now a child out of wedlock, but still in college. Imagine the humiliation, the shame and the failure she has to bear. Despite all these, it did not matter if she had a child outside marriage. It did not matter if she was still in school. It did not matter if she still not married. What did matter was to complete her schooling. Getting married was not the solution to her pre-marital pregnancy. She had to take a responsibility for a better tomorrow, and she did.

The garbage of the past must be left only in the past so that the goal for the future will be achieved. For complete healing to occur, it is necessary that you revisit your past. Because if you don’t you will not be able to see your mistake and learn from it. Although past is over, revisiting it will allow you to reflect what has gone wrong and resolute what to be done later. What you need to avoid, however, is to dwell on them. Learn from your past and then move on with your life with renewed hope.

Even though others might be able to help in getting out from the grip of yesteryear  the only person that can unshackle you from the prison of the past is YOU, and the only power that can unloose you from the grip of your past is your positive attitude for the future. The choice is yours.

Lastly, don’t forget that there is a greater power than all humanistic and pragmatic approach to solve the garbage of your past. No matter how much positive thinking you will do and no matter how hard you try, you’ll fail without the power of God. Only He can do it. Will you allow Him to take control of your past and give you reason to move on?
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