All of us have had experiences in life when we felt as though we got the “short end of the stick.” Someone did us wrong, let us down or damaged us in some way that caused us to have hurt feelings. In this life, no one is going to escape having something happen that is unkind or unfair.
Perhaps you did not have the kind of childhood you would have liked. Maybe your family experience could have been better. Perhaps there were unmet needs or a shortage of money or food or love. Regardless of past circumstances, there is only one solution to make peace with your past and that is forgiveness.
I am amazed at how many Hollywood movies have been made based on the theme of someone’s ability to travel back in time in an effort to make things different or do things over. The hidden message is always the same: If I could go back, knowing what I know now, I would do things differently and make things work out much better.
When I look back at situations that have happened in my own life, I realize that, without exception, every one of them was simply a learning process.
I once read a book called, “Healing Damaged Emotions,” by Dr. David Seamands. He said that we cannot go back and undo our past, but we can reframe it with forgiveness. Reframing causes us to see how the circumstances and situations of our lives are part of the process that makes us who we are today. Holding on to hurt and bitterness does no good. It neither helps us nor the offender. However, forgiveness brings closure and prepares the way for new doors to open.
Unfortunately, some people have gone through some severe trials and tests that were not brought on by anything that they did themselves; they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am not suggesting that you deny your past. Neither do I think you should keep reliving your past. Your only real hope is to reframe your past with forgiveness. When something has happened that has caused a lot of anguish, the only thing that can be done is to reframe it by learning from it and offering forgiveness as a way of bringing closure to the situation.
As you read this, I feel certain that some specific circumstance is in the back of your mind. Let me encourage you to bring some closure to that situation today. Don’t let it keep gnawing at your soul another minute, another hour or another day!
If you were abused in some way or cheated, or treated in a way that was unfair, just call it exactly what it was. But, also realize that you have learned some powerful truths that have shaped you into who you are today because of what happened to you in the past. Now, at this moment, simply offer the decision of forgiveness to that specific situation and be free from it once and for all.
Life is too short to have our past nagging at our lives like a low-grade fever. The future is bright for all of us if we will simply let go of the things of the past so that we are free to experience the best life has to offer us now.
Although I am not a licensed therapist, my Ph.D. minor is in counseling. Let me encourage you to allow this “counseling” Tip to bring peace to a troubled place in your heart that no longer needs to be there. Any person who does not live with forgiveness in his or her heart, lives with a sentence that is worse than death. Trust me; bringing closure to the past will open a brand new door of opportunity that you never thought possible. Forgiveness is the key. Unlock that door today!
Tip: Forgiveness is giving up the hope of a better past.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm