LETTING GO OF THE PAST
When Emily was three years old, her grandfather gave her a little plant and told her to take good care of it. Emily and her grandfather bought a flower pot, planting soil, then planted, and placed it on the mantle in her house.
Every day, Emily got a chair, climbed up on it to check on it to see how it was doing. She watered the plant just as her grandfather instructed her, only when the soil felt dry. Emily was very proud of her little plant as it stretched its arms from the little pot and draped around the mantle and down the sides of the fireplace. When Emily turned four years old, new neighbors moved in next door. They had a daughter named Kay; she was the same age as Emily. Emily and Kay became good friends and played every day. Eventually, Emily forgot all about the plant her grandfather had given her. Soon the leaves turned yellow, then brown, and withered to the floor.
One night the phone rang, it was the doctor from the hospital calling Emily’s mother to inform her, her grandfather had gone to heaven to live with God. When Emily’s mother told her about grandfather, Emily got into her mother’s arms and cried. Emily cried herself to sleep for days.
After grieving the loss of her grandfather. Emily noticed the plant her grandfather had given her had turned brown and there were no leaves on it. Emily panicked. Emily said, “I must save my grandfather’s little plant, it can’t die and go to heaven too!” Emily poured water on it, bought fertilizer from the plant store, and even replanted it. Nothing happened. Emily didn’t tell her mother what she was doing, only her little friend Kay, even though her mother knew exactly what was going on. After many attempts trying to save the little plant, Emily finally told her mother, “Mommy, I have been such a bad girl. Mommy look, I killed grandpa’s little plant he gave me. I did everything I could to save it, but I couldn’t. I was busy playing with Kay and I forgot all about the plant, and now it is dead!” With tears in her eyes, Emily asked, “Mommy do you think grandpa is mad at me in heaven?” Her mother took little Emily in her arms and just held her. Then Emily’s mother said, “Emily, put on your coat, bring your little plant; I want to take you somewhere.” Emily and her mother got into their car, then she and mother drove to a beautiful nursery where there were thousands of flowers and plants. Then her mother opened the door of the car, took Emily by the hands and said, “Emily, grandpa left all of these plants to you, they are yours. Grandpa owned this nursery where he grew and cared for all of these plants. He understood when he gave you the plant, you were only three years old and many things in life would distract you, but he also knew if one plant dies, there are many more plants to replace it. You are far more important than any little plant.” Then, mother said, “You must first let go of the dead plant, give it to me so we can bury it together in order to make room in your heart and hands for the New One.”
Letting Go of something so precious to us is painful. It is like amputating your arm or leg while being awake without anesthesia. I know this from many experiences. Without death, to the past, there is no NEW life, in the present… YOU REMAIN STUCK IN THE PAIN. Without saying goodbye to yesterday, there is no welcoming new tomorrows. It is more comfortable to mix the old with the new for fearing the unknown. Even though situations and relationships can be toxic to our emotions and spirits, familiarity is far more accepting than the unknown, wouldn’t you agree? In writing this blog I came across some quotes that may be helpful.
Sometimes the door closes on a relationship, not because we failed but because something bigger than us says this no longer fits our life. So, lock the door, shed a tear, turn around and look for the new door that’s opened. It’s a sign that you’re no longer that person you were, it’s time to change into who you are. It’s going to be okay.
When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.
Gerald G. Jampolsky
Life is all about change. For this reason, it is so important to be able to let go of all the pain and sorrows that we carry around on our shoulders. Letting go and moving on helps us to discover new opportunities. It is also beneficial towards our own healing. In fact, you will never fully heal when you are not able to let go.
Apostle Paul had a lot to let go of when he gave his life to Jesus Christ. He had the history of persecuting and killing Christians, of which he was now a part. For those reasons, he was feared by his Christian brothers and sisters. As Saul, he was a proud and perfect Jewish leader filled with the knowledge of the Jewish laws and customs. He had a reputation among his fellow Jewish community to uphold. Paul had done a lot of evil things in his life and destroyed the lives of countless people. But, he had changed and was not the man he used to be. Others might have held him to his past mistakes and sins, but Jesus had forgiven him for them all and set him on a NEW path of Life. When Paul told us in Philippians 3:13 -14 Amplified Bible.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul discovered the secret to moving forward is to forget (neglect thinking in the past, no longer care for what happened yesterday, lose out of mind). Remove the rearview mirror from your life. How do you do that Tresca, I have tried? I would like to share a process I use over and over in my life and it has worked a million and one times. I also give this to my brothers and sisters I share with in pastoral counseling and in the past as a psychotherapist.
- Get a sheet of paper or write in your journal your account of the situation you are struggling with. (Dear Jesus, I am stuck… I feel…. I try to… I thought you would… Now I… I expected…) share the grief, loss, pain, anger, fear, hurt, disappointment, whatever they may be. Get it all out, Jesus already knows how you feel. He wants you to share it with Him.
- When you are ready to move forward. Acknowledge to the Lord what you want to do with this situation. Hold on to it or Let it Go. (You have a choice, but think about how much pain this is causing in your life and how you are unable to find peace or rest in this situation).
- If you are ready to move forward, Forgiveness must take place. Jesus has already forgiven you and others for ALL their sins and offenses. Will you forgive others, the Lord and yourself for the painful past?
- Write down the offenses and how they made you feel.
- Choose to forgive them for the pain, hurt, neglect, not meeting your expectations without expecting any apologies in return.
- Tell Jesus, I give the offenses to You (He is their judge, not you). Release the person from the debt of owing you anything.
- Grief and Loss – Write a letter to your loved one or pet, and tell them how much you miss them. Recall the good times and bad times you shared. Forgive yourself and them for any pain you caused each other. When you have shared your heart, then you must say, “I release you into the arms of Jesus now, I must move on from this place. I love you, You ARE HIS.” AMEN
- When you have shared your heart with the Lord, then willingly say to the Lord. This circumstance, loved one, whatever it may be is in YOUR HANDS NOW… I trust you, Lord Jesus, to complete the work in my heart that we just began. AMEN
My Beloved, I am free today and whole in so many areas of my soul because I chose to LET GO and allow Jesus Christ to fill the painful rooms of my heart with HIMSELF! Where there was pain there is joy and peace. Thank you, Lord!
Prayer: Papa, thank You, I no longer have to live in pain, grief, loss, fear, anger, or any other negative emotion. When I let go and opened the doors of my soul to You, You brought healing salve and healed me and restored me. AMEN