As I look back over my life, I reflect, and feel the emotions of pride, regret, sadness, and elation. There are so many conflicting emotions and feeling when I think about my past. I know I am not alone. Our past can bring many thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, regret, and then there is the feeling of just wanting to hide some things in a closet. However, when you look back, you will find that you learned so much from your past mistakes, and your triumphs. It is time to make peace with our past. All of the regret, shame, and even the feelings of triumph, are in your past. Each new day, brings the gift of change, and we can celebrate the gift of a new beginning with the dawning of a new day.
The question then becomes, so how do I make peace with my past. Here are a few suggestions, that have helped me over the years:
1. Remembering the past is the past. Leaving all of the debris, good and bad; where it belongs in the past.
2. Seeking forgiveness from anyone you feel you have wronged, and forgiving yourself for past mistakes. Recieving forgiveness, providing forgiveness, and forgiving ourselves is a great start for making peace with your past. Through the act of forgiveness the memories become softer.
3. Closing chapters that need to be closed. Sometimes we have done all we can do, its in the past, and time to close the chapter and start a new one. When you have done all you can do, give all the rest to good. It happened, it may not have turned out the way you wanted it to but it is done. Simply, finally close the chapter.
4. Always ask the questions, what have I learned from this? What have the lessons from our past, taught us. If you don’t see the lesson, reflect on the situation more. Ask God to show you the lesson. Trust me He will!
5. Give thanks for the lessons learned, for the hardships, the successes, they all came together to make you the person you are today. Just as there are failures in our past, there are also successes. Be grateful you made it through.
Finally as stated in the Bible, “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His Purpose.” If you love God, you are called to his purpose, and the celebration, and the pitfalls have have worked for your ultimate good, believe that. Make peace with yourself, others, and God! It is your decision, make the decision to make peace with your past. Then celebrate the fact, that a new day will dawn, and you can begin again.