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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Let It Go

Life is a series of ups and downs. For many, the past is ever present, and their lives are defined by the hurts, pains, and mistakes they have experienced. For them, these have marked their lives and continue to affect them today.

In conversations I have had with folks who are scarred and damaged by the past, one thing they all seem to have in common is their past is never far from their thinking. It is as if they are being held back by what they have left behind and cannot seem to find a way “let it go”.

This is tragic because it is real and causes anger, anguish, and heartache.

As with many things, the truth can be difficult to accept and for many the need to let go of the past is easier said than done.

Why? It is because the struggles of the past are magnified by an inability to believe a different outcome is possible in the present or future.

The key is finding a way to realize our past is there to learn from, our present is there to live in, and our future is to hope for. When we do, we can understand each phase of life has a purpose.

I certainly am not trying to minimize the difficulties people may have been through or are going through. I just want to remind everyone. Your past does not define you.

We are all the sum of our experiences, good, bad, and indifferent. How we deal with and respond to those experiences is up to us.

One thing is sure, if we are going to be able to move forward, letting go of our past is required. This takes faith and the ability to believe things can be better today than they were yesterday.

It is a conscious choice and is only possible if we choose to believe it is true.

The way I have learned to use the difficulties of my past is to weed through them and throw out the ones that are hurtful and harmful. Then, I focus on applying what not to do as I go forward. The ability to do so is a learned behavior and takes time but, it is not impossible if we choose to learn from our past and not live in it.

“Let it go” is an opportunity to move forward. Holding on to the past makes this impossible.

As I think about my life, I have concluded I am better despite any difficulties. I also realize there are those who have been severely damaged and do not see their past this way.

Even as I write this, I am convinced the one who has been severely damaged is the one who needs to “let it go” more than anyone else. If this is you, I would like to ask you to consider the possibility you are the limiting factor in your life now because you cannot find a way to let go and move forward.

The biggest question regarding letting go of the past is always how do I do that? The answer is by believing yesterday is gone, today is upon us and a better tomorrow is ahead of us.

When we can do this, we will no longer need to “let it go”, we will just need to trust the best is yet to come!

Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

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