A friend and I were talking recently about forgiveness. We talked about how it is SO hard to forgive someone when they have not apologized and probably will never apologize either. (And let’s be honest, I’m sorry YOU feel that way doesn’t count! lol) We both walked away admitting there were things we needed to let go and people we needed to forgive even though they never said those words… “I am sorry.” It reminded me of a message I heard in church a few years ago called starting over! It really hit home with me because our Pastor, Andy Stanley, said something that really struck a nerve. “How far into your future do you intend to carry the angst created in your past?” His advice? “Own it. Rethink it. Release it.” Hmmmm…well that is an interesting concept isn’t it?!
Far too often, in situations in my own past where things seem to have crumbled, I’ve had a tendency to hang onto it. Mostly because it made me really sad, angry or I just felt hopeless about it and those emotions are hard to let go. Sometimes there are situations in life though, that you have no control over. Situations you have regret about. Situations that were toxic and even situations that broke your heart or brought you pain. Unfortunately, when you just stew over it or pick it apart, it doesn’t bring you any closer to being free from the pain right? And it definitely doesn’t help you to move on. That message was a good reminder of how to move forward. Andy said to do three things…own it, (how was it your fault, how was it their fault), rethink it, (how could I handle this better next time, how could I respond better next time) and finally, release it.
I think releasing it is the most difficult part, but it’s great advice. Any angst in my past…I need to own it, rethink it and release it and I am also gonna pray for the help to do so. Because Lord knows I haven’t always made the right choices, said the perfect thing or been the best I can be, but life is too short and as Andy says…”Your past should remind you; it shouldn’t define you.”
What in your life do you need to own, rethink and release?
XO Surviving Mommy