i wish i did ...
i regret ...
If i could do it over ...
What if ...
If only ...
But what about ...
If i would've just ...
Do any of these lines sound familiar? There have been days where some of these were on repeat in my head. The unfortunate and real thing about asking myself these questions is that:
1. It wastes time.
2. It brings to the surface emotional junk that doesn't deserve one moment of my time.
3. It steals from my future.
Don't miss that last point, because it's the most important. When you think about the past and ask yourself the questions above, it steals from the present moment, moments that you will never get back. Staying stuck in regret and what-ifs prevent you from recognizing the blessings that are right in front of you.
There are a lot of things that happen in life that may cause you to wonder what would've happened if you would've done things differently. But pondering on those things leaves you empty because you can't go back. The healthier way to look at the past is to live in a state of gratitude for what you learned in the experience. i mentioned on Twitter this week that, There's a teachable moment in every difficult circumstance. We can choose to learn & grow from it, like God desires, or we can ignore it.
Take the teachable moment, not the what-if's- and move forward because it's impossible to bring your past into your future — that's a train wreck waiting to happen. The past and the present do not play nice together because you can't give NOW your full attention if you're wondering about the past.
Let go of ...
• past relationships that no longer serve you
• hurts/open wounds
• bitterness and rage
• emotional, physical, and spiritual ties
• unhealthy friendships
Let go of all the things that happened yesterday. Healing can take place when you have recognized that all the stuff that happened yesterday has gotten you to today. It's made you stronger, wiser, faith-filled, determined, successful, unafraid, and grateful. Right?
Often times, we build bridges with our past, one piece of wood at a time. When we build the bridge, we give ourselves permission to travel backwards. We were meant to keep moving foward - there are great things in store for us in each beautiful moment of every day.
Isaiah 43:18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past".
So, let me ask you, friend. Do you really want to keep traveling backwards and dwell on the regrets and what-ifs? If you really want to be present, to be in love with every moment of your life, you need to burn the bridge to your past. Set it on fire! When you do this, you free up your time to build stepping stones to your future —where your biggest dreams are.
What does it look like to burn the bridge?
• Say goodbye to unhealthy relationships, especially relationships with past loves (extremely important if you are married).
• Heal the open wounds by forgiving those who have hurt you. Give yourself permission to love deeply and leave judgment up to the Lord.
• Get rid of the roots of bitterness and rage. The only one these two things hurt is you.
• Break any unhealthy tie you have with another person (sexually, emotionally, or spiritually)
• Release unhealthy friendships. The people that stay in your life and are a part of a healthy relationship with you belong there. Other friendships may be important for a season and are not meant to be forever - gently let them go.
There's so much promise in this moment. Right now. Love is waiting for you. Dreams are waiting for you. Life is waiting to show you the unimaginable joy in the right now. If you can't see it, it's likely because there is too much past standing in your way. Choose life, burn the bridge of the past.
Lord, i LOVE it when you show me your glory when i am present in the now. For far too long, i've traveled the bridge i've built to my past because in some ways it feels safe there. But i know that isn't true. i only go back because i don't know how to move forward, because i don't have the courage to move forward. The devil likes to keep me dwelling on my regrets and wounds and bitterness. So today, Lord, i choose to light a match and set the bridge to my past on fire. i want to know your joy, your hope, your will and i know i can't find those things if i keep looking back. i trust you, Lord, to give me the courage to live every moment like it's my last. Amen.