"There is nothing wrong with looking back on your life, as long as you continue to move forward." Dan.
As a street pastor, I spend countless hours with people who are stuck in their past...either because of the poor life choices that they have made or choices that were made for them by others that meant to harm them. Addiction, homelessness, prostitution, crime and incarceration, depression are all end results in not letting go of your past. For some folks, they are unable to move forward...completely frozen in anger, hate and disappointment, which lands them on the street, in homeless shelters or inappropriate relationships or living situations.
I have heard many stories of abuse that are unimaginable and not to minimize some of the conditions that brought people to a place of total mistrust, disillusionment and self-loathing....you have to address your past without staying in your self impose prison of the mind for eternity. Living in the victim mode, not only keeps you in a place where you can not move forward in your life, but it wears thin on anyone willing to be in your life that wants to be in relationship with you. Your past becomes an issue when you refuse to let go and move forward.
"It is important to remember the storms that you came through in life...it is in fact what has made you who you are today. It is something to celebrate! As long as you don't remain in that storm of your past, you will be able to appreciate how strong you really are. Look back and say..."Wow, ok I survived that, now I can help others get to where I am now." Dan.
I often see people alienate themselves from others because they wear their past like an Identity Badge. The honest truth is....and as cold and callus as it may be....no one really cares about what happened to you in the past because they are dealing with their past. They don't understand or want to hear about your past time and time again because they are too busy dealing with their own life. The sooner you can accept that, the sooner you can get yourself off the pity party and move but hanging on to your past so you can absorb pity from others gets tiring and you will find yourself frustrated and alone again.
- Remember what happened.
- Acknowledge it happened.
- Deal with what happened.
- Get support or help.
- Learn from it.
- Seek and/or give Forgiveness.
- Say goodbye.
- Move forward.
We all have good reasons to be upset or angry about things that have happened to us in the past....and yes there are many justifiable reasons that anyone would agree with us; however, if you allow your past to be your only focus....your only interaction with others....your only identity....you will be unable to move forward. What happened happened, there is no changing that fact....period. Now, what you do with that is up to you. You now have the control. You are not in the past any longer you are in the present. I worked with a group where addicts would go out and give their testimony. Often their testimony would be more of what they had been through, what happened to them, than it did of how God rescued them from their issue. Seek support, but seek God first to help you through your recovery so you can learn from your past and move forward with your life so you can help others. Forgiveness is key. It isn't for anyone else but you. Forgive and leave it with God to handle the details....say goodbye and don't look back. You are on the road forward in life.
The Overcomers Recovery Support Program, and other programs in Canada and the US are in every Province and State....search them out. Many churches have these programs. I have several that I supervise in the London ON area. These programs are designed to help you walk through your past with support and embrace your future. I will tell you that there is no better way you can do this and that is with the help of Jesus.
If you are struggling with your past and unable to move forward, I want you to consider this prayer that I do with everyone I work with on the street:
"Lord, I may or may not know who you are and sometimes I admit that I blame you for what happened to me. I am so angry and disillusioned with people. They don't understand or even seem to care about the pain that I have been through in my life. I often feel unloved and sometimes even invisible to others. I know Lord that I don't want to carry this anger, disappointment and sadness any more. I am tired of it. I need your help to move forward in my life. I have pushed so many good people away for me because I couldn't let go of my past. Help me. Give me peace. Show me a better way to live. Forgive me Lord for the things that I have done to others to strike back because of what happened to me. Give me hope Lord. Send some people into my life that will lift me up and help me in my journey forward. Heal my heart. Help me to find forgiveness in my heart for those that have meant to harm me in the past. I want to trust you, but it's hard...help me with that too."
I pray this in Jesus name. Amen
Published by Dan Morand