Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

NewsBreak Column: Losing The Weight of The Past January 27, 2009

The following was published in San Clemente Presbyterian’s NEWSBREAK magazine. Editors are welcome to use it as a FREE REPRINT, simply by adding my byline. 
In January, most of us strive to become less “sugar plum” and more “fairy.”  This year, what if we lost the weight of our short-comings, our mistakes and past errors in judgment?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve determined to let go of everything that happened only a minute before, and release everything that may happen in the next. It’s like looking at the world through a keyhole.
At first, it was difficult to let go of my “wisdom,” knowledge gained from the road I’ve traveled. But, considering that I (hopefully!) know twice as much as I did 20 years ago, and may assume I’ll know twice as much in the next 20, what I claim to know right now can’t be the full picture. So, I threw out my own opinions and judgments, and lived in the moment–the holy instant of right now.
In this small place, I only have room to listen and respond as God would have me.
I thought it might be freeing to forgive and forget the dumb mistakes I’ve made, but surprisingly, the real joy came from letting go of everyone else’s mistakes. When I communicate with my husband, my children, or co-workers, I see only their “loveableness”, forgetting the misunderstanding over dinner, the whining at the grocery store, the unintentionally sharp comment.
The results have been astounding. When I look upon others as only loveable, only good, what I receive is love and goodness. Who doesn’t glow around the people who love. forgive and adore them?
As Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, love keeps no record of wrongs. More importantly, Jesus knows all there is to know about us and still loves us unconditionally. When Jesus forgives us our sins, He’s also saying, “We’re done with the past. Stop living in it.” Holding onto shame, regret or anger is the same as holding onto the past. Imagine what a gift it is to be around you who follows His lead, loving and forgiving all?
If we want a new beginning, if we hope for transformation of ourselves or our close relationships, we need to agree with the Lord who saved us, and give up the chains of the past. We need to see only the lovable in ourselves and others and put past failings where they belong—in the past. Without the extra “weight” of the past, what is left is the wholly lovable person God Himself created, in His own image.
This year, I challenge you to do two things. First, to accept your Father’s forgiveness; To really believe you are washed of your sins, and restored to the truth of your undeniable “lovableness”. The second is a little tougher. I’d like you to forgive everyone else.


One Response to “NewsBreak Column: Losing The Weight of The Past”

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