Leave The Past Behind: Don’t Carry it Into Your Future
Do you find it hard to leave the past behind? I used to spend most of my time living in a time zone that belonged to the past.
My mind replayed lots of regrets. Thoughts like ‘I wish I did it another way, if only I didn’t do that, I feel terrible because of what I did, why did I do that? And many more negative thoughts went round and round in my head.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how many times I replayed those feelings or thoughts, I can’t go back and change anything. What is done, is done. The outcome of the past is set and it cannot be changed. That brings us to the present. You are only in control of the now. You can’t control the future. That’s why you shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. Matthew 6: 34 NLT.
Some ways you can move forward and step out of the past…
- Wipe the slate clean. I know it’s easy to say. But until you free yourself from the prison that handcuffs you to the past, you can’t move forward. Focusing on the ‘if onlys’ will keep you tied to the past. Sometimes wiping the slate clean could mean you have to move to a new area, start a new job, let go of certain friends or end a relationship. If it’s hard to leave the past behind from where you are now, you’ll have to make life-changing decisions. Pray and ask God to give you courage, while you work towards making a change. I had to end a relationship because of the physical abuse connected to it from the past.
- Be thankful for bad experiences. If you didn’t have them, you wouldn’t learn from them. I’ve had many bad relationships. While I was going through them, I was bitter and angry. But since I’ve been single, I’ve been able to look back and see why they didn’t work out. I’ve learnt lessons that will help me be a better woman in my next relationship. So, I’m thankful for the bad experiences. And with the help of prayers, I’ve left those negative experiences behind.
- Talk about it with a counsellor, pastor, or trusted friend. When you bottle things up, it can manifest as sickness in your body. If someone hurt you, you have to forgive them. Holding on to bitterness will make you a bitter person. What you carry in your heart is what you’ll become. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. Maybe your father or another male relative abused you. So, you carry that wound around your heart and hate men. You’ll probably walk straight into an abusive relationship. Who you are is what you’ll attract.
- Surround yourself with positive people who will inspire and support you. Make new friends if you have to. Friends who will bring out your best qualities and encourage you to focus on the present. Don’t mix with friends who are always talking about the past like they’re still living in it. They will drag your mood down, make it difficult for you to leave the past behind and move forward.
“Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.” ~ Isaiah 43: 18 Amplified Bible. It’s dangerous to live in the past. Also, living in the past is a mind thing. It’s not your physical body doing it. And because it’s in your mind, that’s where the battle takes place. If you’re not careful, your mind can control your life negatively. Do whatever you need to do, so you can free yourself from the prison of the past.
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Have you been a prisoner of your past? How did you break yourself free? Please share your thoughts.