Monday, February 14, 2011

The past, not to be lived in but also not to be forgotten

In recent times I've been contacting old friends, people I went to school with and people I worked with via facebook and I noticed something that seems pretty common. People have very little recollection of the past and don't really want to remember. My personality type(green) tends to be very reflective and I have a very good memory of places and events. A lot of things that have happened in my life are good but a few events that were not so good have come to the surface with these exchanges I've been having. I'm totally okay with what has happened in my life(the good and the bad) because it has made me who I am today and I like who I am. Most of these exchanges I've had have abruptly ended and I really don't know why. I ask questions and I really genuinely care about these people but I think I touch on areas they just don't want to go to so they shut down.

The truth is, you can do nothing to change your past. It is what it is. However there is a lot that can be learned from your path. The longer you live the more potential you have for solving problems because you've been there before(or at least a similar situation). Repressing memories is just a coping mechanism to live on in denial of what has been done to you or what you've done to others. A lot of the bad things that have happened have either happened to you or were accidental on your part. Not a lot of people set out to intentionally hurt people, most of it is done in the name of fun and is often born out of your own hurt. If you don't deal with it then it will be repeated again and again. No one is perfect. I've done things I've felt remorse for. I had terrible things done to me but I don't hold a grudge. Carrying around that hurt just makes it worse. Forgiveness is the key. I made a lot of apologies in recent years for things I've done over my life. Some in person, some via email and some just to God(for people I can't contact any other way) and I've forgiven every thing that ever happened to me that I remember and when something I've forgotten is remembered I go through the whole process. I don't want to carry around pain. It is just not healthy nor necessary.

Several years ago I went through a program at a church called Freedom session. It is a Biblically based 12 step program developed by Ken Dyck and it is for anyone who has ever hurt or been hurt. You don't have to be an alcoholic or addict of any sort to have a need for healing through the process of handing your hurts over to God so he can heal them. It was an intense time of deep introspection and I didn't like it some of the time. I had to be steadfast as I saw most of my brothers in my group drop out. It went for 9 months and my group of 12 shrank to 5 by the 4 month mark and was down to 2 by the end. It was difficult but very rewarding. Even after it finished I wasn't sure how helpful it was but as time has gone on I can see how its benefits have grown fruit in my life.

I continue to take inventory in my life and when I realize I've done something wrong I seek forgiveness. As for the hurts others try to impose on me I don't take them personally. I know where it is coming from and can forgive them. Often instantly but at times I need to work through it. Life is a process.

Your past should be embraced as a part of who you are. Those who don't learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them in the future.

If you want more info on  Freedom Session click here .

Blessings, James

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