Unfortunately, with each fractured relationship, we may actually find less to love about ourselves; we just focus on the ugliness of the scars and don't accept the opportunity of the healing that awaits. Some of us, me included, have learned this the hard way, so I figure we all need some Straight Talk on dusting off from past brokenness and charging into a brighter, better relationship future.
Below I share a few things that I think can help us to allow the past to heal rather than keep on hurting.
Give Yourself the Talk
Repeat after me: I must not...let...past broken relationships...hold me back...from living today. I must forgive myself and others for what is past... and make an impassioned...and sustained...effort...to make today...the best day I have ever lived.
There you go! That is the start, because the current relationship that you need to nurture is the one you have with yourself. I believe that the Bible teaches us to love God in order that we can truly love ourselves, so that we can truly love others. It teaches us how to stay connected to each other through that one true powerful force. Staying connected doesn't mean that we have to be in each others' physical space, but it does mean that every interaction we have is counted as important and yes, no matter how bad, as a gift to help us move forward. So I'll round this off with my personal favourite memory verse from scripture, quoted from the King James version, (because that version is so poetic). This is God reassuring Joshua who was to take over from the great prophet Moses in leading the people of Israel to the promise land:
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."Joshua 1:9
Through this verse we can all get daily reassurance.
Take a trip to the doctor
I'll bet you've been having some unexplained health issues lately. You've tried to change your diet, exercise more, read positive things, go to church and the list goes on but still... Is the blood pressure just a little higher? Are you feeling more anxious, had to take more sick days off than usual? You may be feeling sick but can't put your finger on what the problem could possibly be. Sometimes some sobering readings on the vitals can be wake up call enough to force a change, but you'll have to do some searching, some deep digging, to find out what it is that you've covered up with all this 'doing and saying and reading the right things'. I'll bet there is a relationship that was shattered or continues to be broken and it's eating you alive. You're going to have to let go.
Just let go!...1, 2, 3...Let go! Or get sick, really sick. Choice is yours.
Stop Re-living the Past
You know about SnapChat right? So it's this new photo messaging app to allow you to send messages and have them disappear in the next instant. Pretty handy tool especially when a great deal of privacy, or treachery is what you're seeking. If only some of those bad memories of the past would just vanish into thin air, as if they never were, just like a Snapchat message would. That would be great, but our brains don't quite work that way, do they? In order to stop re-living the past we have to find the lesson in what happened. Detail the lesson learned and set out to apply what has been learned to a situation right now. Find a way to do what you were unable to do before and reward yourself. Don't stop there. Repeat this. Constantly find a way to apply the lesson to the NOW. The past is only as good as what you have learned from it. Don't re-live it, learn from it.
Choose to change
If there was something wrong with a relationship you've had or that you're in, you are partially at fault, whether you have created a rotten situation or you have just accepted or allowed it. But if for even a moment you can recognise that you can actually choose to change and then actually change, that would be the greatest moment.
We can choose to change. Many times that choice will have to be made in fear, but it has to be done nonetheless. You really don't have to be the YOU that you were in the past. You can tweak YOU, it just takes a little detailed assessment and then a few nips, tucks and pinches here and there and you're on your way. You can choose to change and then actually change. It is possible. As the Nike-ers would say, "Just Do it"!
Be Accountable and Make Peace with the Past
You have to be open in your current relationship about all that you believe you have learned from those of the past. You don't have to get all honest all at once! But especially when you really get the sense that a relationship is of a more serious nature, sharing is a requirement. But share who you are because of that past and share what you are working on because of that past and share what you seek because of that past and what you presently value most because of that past. Be truthful, make peace and bear witness to someone else, so that you remain accountable for the changes you have made and the peace you intend to keep.
So that's all I have to share, but perhaps you can help to add to these thoughts if you have suggestions on how we can all Stop Past Broken Relationships from killing Our Current Ones. Looking forward to the list.