We all have it. A pain from our past that rears it’s ugly head every once in awhile.
But for some of us that pain is more of a constant reality than a passing thought. It has turned into something that controls our life and dictates our every move. He have become bound by it. Living a life that is so far from that God desires for us. Deuteronomy 20:4 reminds us that God is fighting our enemies and will bring us complete victory. That means he is actively battling Satan and the thoughts he plants in us. But in order to overcome and let go of the past hurts, we too have some work to complete. Here is a list of 6 tips to help you let go of the things that hurt you in the past.
1. Do Not Isolate Yourself
From the very beginning, God did not see it fit that any person should be alone. God made Eve to be Adam’s companion and helper. It is just as important now that we do not isolate ourselves, especially when dealing with the hurtful feelings of our past.
God placed us into a community, which he calls the Body of Christ. We are the body, and every part of the body is important. When we are sick, infected by pain, we need the other parts of the body to help heal us. We have to stop trying to do everything on our own. There are people in the Church who want to stand with us, but we have to allow them.
2. Forgive the People Involved
Forgiveness is key to letting go of the past. When we don’t forgive, we allow for Satan to make a home in our soul. Our heart slowly darkens and becomes poisoned. This poison is killing us, not the person who hurt us. This unforgiveness holds us back from doing the work of the Father. We can no longer be as effective as we should have been.
But realize that forgiveness does not mean that you forgot what was done. You are just not allowing it to control your life. You learn from the experience and don’t allow the person to have the same access to you as they once did.
And in this road to forgiveness, understand that hurt people will always hurt people. You know the love of the Father, while those who hurt you may not. You were hurt by someone who is living in pain and knows no other way to express themselves. This alone should be enough to forgive because they need the same savior in their lives that you have living in you daily.
3. Do Not Re-live the Pain
I have a strong tendency to replay situations in my head over and over again. Don’t do this when you are dealing with your pain. Stop thinking about the way the person hurt you or what you could have done or said differently in the situation.
Also don’t look for opportunities to bad mouth the person. Yes acknowledge what happened, but don’t dwell on what happened. Focus on your future and what you can do to become a better person and make those around you better people.
4. Cry and Express Your Feelings
Don’t bottle up your emotions. If you do then you will blow up at the worst time. Holding in your emotions will manifest as uncontrollable crying, depression, suicidal thoughts, lashing out on the people you care about the most, and feeling numb to everything.
But when you are expressing your feelings, don’t make things up in your head. Don’t allow Satan to start speaking lies into your mind. Only acknowledge the truth. Acknowledge that the pain hurts, but don’t internalize a lie that you do not deserve happiness.
Find something you enjoy to express yourself and your feelings. You can write, sing, draw, dance…. The possibilities are endless.
5. Find gratitude
In all things give thanks to the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:18). That includes being thankful in the crappy situations of life. No matter how bad things were, as long as you are breathing, there will always be something to give God thanks for. We just have to allow ourselves to find it.
We have to shift our mindset. That means stop thinking of the negatives, and start actively focusing on the positives.
6. Most Importantly, Turn To God
We have to turn to God if we desire to let go of our past! God wants to take our pain away from us and show us his unfailing love. He wants us to experience him to the fullest, and we can’t do that if we constantly turn our focus to the past.
We turn to God by praying. We have to make the time to pray and read the word. When we read scripture we have to apply it to our lives. It makes no sense to just read. We then make spending time with God something we cross off our checklist, when it should be something we look forward to never ending.
And sometimes turning to God means that we are yelling at him. Don’t worry, he can handle our anger. God will allow us to vent our frustration, but then he will remind us of who he is and of his powerful nature. After our yelling session, we always have to have a “But God” moment. That is something I always loved when reading a passage in The Book of Psalms. Right after a moment of despair and feelings of hopelessness, the author always provided a moment to worship God. The author always ended with a “Yet God” delivered them from some crazy mess.