Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
Letting go of the past. Where do I start? I don’t know how to let go! I want to let go yet find myself in some weird limbo. The distorted view that if I let go, what has hurt me will win. Yet, the shocking truth is this: Not letting go is keeping me and you from living. So the pain, hurt, and disappointment are winning.
Jesus whispers, I have so much more for you. Do you trust me?
Ah, trust! A single word which sends us running into self-preservation, self-reliance, and reluctance to change. We dig our heels in deep, adamant to not be the first person to lower our sword or take the higher ground. Sometimes my heart shouts “I’m tired of doing the right thing. I want a break.” Truth be told, my heart screams its protest to a deaf audience.
I find myself facing an all too familiar reality – the only person I can control and change is…Me! My heart’s eyes roll in resignation and exasperation. I look towards the ocean of change which is my life. I look down to the chain holding my feet onto the shore. In my hand is a single ivory key with the word Permission engraved on it.
Permission – one of the most important ways to let go of the past
Permission? For what? To let go. Permission to be me. Permission to explore the vast depths of God’s love and delight. Permission to embrace joy and courage. Permission to be free.
The time is now for you and me to let go of our past. This doesn’t mean we forget. Rather, we remember the truth but are no longer enslaved by its pain or disappointment. Our past stops being our present and takes its place as our history, a mere reference point.
Every deliberate act of letting go takes us one step forward into the life we desire. The life full of purpose and that overall satisfaction of just being yourself unashamedly and unapologetically. With each choice we make we discover life is not as against us as we think nor is it a pit of despair and helplessness.
We let go and move on.
We can start letting go by using these 3 ways to let go of the past and live joyful, grace-filled, and free lives.
#1 Soften our hearts
You and I cannot change our past or the way we have been treated. We can’t even change our own past behavior. We do have control over what we are going to say and do now.
We can ask God to help us soften our hearts towards each person in our lives. By being more empathic and understanding, we are able to see both sides of the story. Suddenly, our role is no longer that of victim but participant. You and I each had a role to play in those memories. We said things we shouldn’t have or did things we regret.
You and I can lower our swords and seek God’s forgiveness, ask for forgiveness, and forgive ourselves.
#2 Take ownership
No matter what my past is, I get to have a say in my life today. The choices we make today determine the life we have tomorrow. Own your choices. Take responsibility for what you have chosen in every area of your life. This is where your power lies.
Passing blame onto other people leaves you and me powerless. Blame never solved any situation nor did it change the past. The past is done, move on.
#3 Look to the hope and future
Other ways to let go of the past is to stand on the truth that God has given you hope and a future. He has declared over you many promises and blessings none of which will He go back on. God always intends to meet His promises; His yes is yes.
Remind yourself of God’s promises over your life. Read through them. Pray them into your life. Use God’s promises and His truth to renew your mind. Accept that what has happened to you has made you into the person you are today. See who you are and embrace you! Keep on moving forward into all that life has to offer you.