But Kevy Tells You How He’s Doing It
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:18-19
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” – Philippians 3:13
Most people would agree that we should not live in the past. It makes sense not to. There is nothing in the past that we can change, therefore it is sensible to not waste energy dwelling in it. Living in the past can give power to pain, and make us feel inadequate today, when compared to reflections of past accomplishments, and joy. Living in the past shuts doors to new opportunities and adventures for it distract us from realizing that those doors are right before us.
Clearly, I appreciate these sentiments about the past. When folks tell me to let go of the past, I get it! Often I’m told about my living in the past, including by family members who’ve hurt me. They’re all misperceiving me, though, and my relationship with the past every time they do so.
To me it’s obvious that I am not ‘living’ in the past, as evidenced by my new life in Colorado. The past has ignited my spirituality, volunteerism, helping others, and my creativity. The past has led me to access tranquility through meditation and prayer. My past is taking me on an adventurous journey of creating and discovering my future. The past does not necessarily have to be a dismal reflection. Since I’ve how to manage it, it has become an inspiration.
But ‘remembering’ the past and using it to navigate my truth is ‘not living in it’.
Those who may not reflect well in their past, want us to not remember it, when they say forget the past. But, the past can be used to define the future. My past molded me into becoming a more humbled, courageous, faithful, and creative man. I thank the past for its exquisite orchestration of these elements in my life today. I remember the lessons learned from my past, minus the emotions, to guide me. The emotions of the past is what can weigh on me, but wisdom has never hurt anyone. So, if wisdom resides in the past, I draw from it. And, it always does. This is consistent with ancient civilizations drawing from the wisdom of their ancestors, in the past.
17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – 5:18
But in most cases the past is sprinkled with both joy, and pain. Resolving the latter is not easy, and is personal. My past is filled with many painful moments. No one can tell me how and when to get over this pain. That’s totally up to me, according to my plan. No one knows how deep my pain runs. Only I know that. Most importantly, no one knows how and if my past negatively impacts me today. I do.
In my case, the stresses of solely caring for my mother, while exerting my body, mind and spirit to unimaginable lengths, took a physical toll on my body that I must contend with today. So, how do I get over past harms that affect me today? How do I forget something from my past that slaps me in the face every morning?
How does anyone have the audacity to tell a person ‘don’t live in the past’, when they don’t acknowledge how you’re being impacted today, or even that they may have caused the harm?
This is a very tough dilemma that requires God’s intervention, in my opinion. Getting over a past that drains your present day can’t be accomplished on your own. It requires a process, a plan, and spiritual guidance.
The best example of this dilemma is with racism. As a black man, I’ve been told or overheard comments about blacks ‘living in the past’, with regard to slavery, discrimination, and racism. Well, I agree that we should not dwell in this ugly past, except to maybe inspire us to excel beyond it.
But it’s not easy to get over the pain of living in black skin, while witnessing and experiencing racism today. Take a look to look at statistics on the black community in the United States, provided by the Center for American Progress. For a black person, it can be a bit discouraging.
Below I’ve made an attempt at not just telling you to ‘stop living in the past’, I’m going to suggest how to do it, even when it affects you today.
- Acknowledge the joys and pains of the past. Do not deny them and keep them trapped within.
- Forgive your perpetrators, and yourself, but don’t forget your past. Note: I have found it easier to start out by just praying for the tormentors in your past first, then eventually forgiveness will come. Praying for then implies that they require God’s assistance, which implies that they too are victims.
- Acknowledge that the past has seeds of inspiration in them that can define and guide your present and future. Discover them, ask God for guidance. There will always be treasures buried, beneath the ashes.
- Meditate and pray to erase bad memories of the past…reset your mind and emotions.
- Define your own time for getting over the past. There is no standard, but your own.
- Assess and eliminate what wisdom tells you to has contributed to your past mistakes and pains. Eliminate those people, places, and things from your life, until you feel they are worthy of your time, if ever.
- Develop a plan and strategy for moving forward from the past. A plan will not appear on its own, and without a plan, you won’t know where you’re headed.
- Establish a defining milestone or event for ‘closing the chapter’. For example, in my case, exposing my vulnerabilities through the blog, testimonials, and writings is closing the chapter on some of my past pains.
- Piece-by-piece, like completing a puzzle, create a new life, different in every way from the life that brought you pain, but more accentuated in the ways that life has brought joy. Don’t do this too quickly though. Remember, God likes order.
- Share your story, including lessons, wisdom, mistakes, and victories with others. This act of proclamation may help others, and may fulfill God’s reason for leading you to triumph through your past tests. Doing so also puts your ego on full alert, letting it know passionately that you have turned life’s lemons into Strawberry Lavender Lemonade.
- Get over the past in your time, feeling no guilt if it takes a long or short time. Get over the past when you feel so in your mind, body, spirit, and soul, and do not feel driven by outside pressure.
Below, I am sharing various articles and videos on getting past….the pain of the past.
How to Let Go of The Past (The Secret Guide to Moving Forward) *MUST SEE* – 127,944 views – Infinite Waters (Diving Deep) – Published on Jun 3, 2015
LET GO OF YOUR PAST – Motivational Video – 438,715 views – MotivationGrid – Published on Jul 1, 2016
How to Forgive and Let Go of Your Past – 383,144 views – 100huntley – Published on Aug 15, 2014
Bible teacher and New York Times best-selling author Joyce Meyer shows us the biblical and Godly way to move past your pain and hurts.
Leave The Past Behind So You Can Focus On Your Future (Motivational Video) – 1,068,678 views – Team Fearless – Published on Dec 5, 2016
You should be grateful for your past. The good times and especially the challenging times, because all of it formed who you are today.
How to Leave the Past Behind – Expert Reviewed – WikiHow
Troubling memories from the past make make it hard to live in the present. If you are having a hard time moving on from something that happened to you, you can begin to heal by accepting how your past has shaped you into the person you are today. Read More
To Grow as a Person, Selectively Forget the Past – Harvard Business Review – Vijay Govindarajan – MAY 12, 2016
For 35 years, I have used the Three Box Solution framework in my work with corporations. This practical approach integrates (Box 1) current business performance with (Box 2) selective forgetting of the past and (Box 3) creating the future. But it’s not only business issues that can be solved with the three box approach — some executives with whom I’ve used the framework tell me that it applies equally well to personal transformation.
As an example of how to think about the framework’s application to an individual’s struggles and challenges, consider the remarkable transformation of a single individual, the late Nelson Mandela, who went from embodying black South Africans’ armed resistance to apartheid to becoming a dominant force for racial reconciliation and national unification. During his 27 years in prison, Mandela thought about and discussed the future with his fellow prisoners. He came to see that the nation’s future could not be built on anger and recrimination — no matter how justified — over the brutalities of the past. Instead, it needed a foundation built on forgiveness and reconciliation. Mandela embraced a new identity, embodying change by becoming a man who, at his 1994 inauguration as South Africa’s president, invited his white prison guards to stand with him. Read More
Donald Lawrence Go Get Your Life Back – 77 views – Li’CalHon – Published on Oct 17, 2016
Question: What are your tips for eliminating past pains?
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