You’re probably familiar with the expression, “my past came back to haunt me,” and you likely have some personal examples related to this phrase. While it is always good to live in the present and embrace “the power of now,” do we ever fully escape our pasts? Can we truly be free of our mistakes and poor behavior of years gone by?
This post will focus on our so-called “sins of the past” and how they affect our lives in the present time. I will relate personal examples pertaining to my past relationships and physical health, and do my best to provide useful insights and suggestions for letting go of regrets and repercussions from the past.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The passage above is called the Serenity Prayer. It is used frequently in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step recovery programs. It is simple yet extremely powerful. I believe that if one fully embraces and lives in tune with the words of this prayer, he or she will live a much more peaceful and happy life.
I dedicate this week’s post to the discussion of the Serenity Prayer, as I feel it is integral to my healing project and the healing of all those who have things in their lives they wish weren’t “so.” That pretty much describes all of us, now doesn’t it?
Fifteen years ago, one of my closest friends committed suicide at the age of 32. The day on which I found out was absolutely and unequivocally the worst day of my life. Time seemed to stop and I felt shocked, sad, and numb all at the same time. I cried and cried until there were no tears left in my body and I felt a depth of pain that I didn’t even know was possible to experience.
The tears and the sadness lasted for a long, long time, but I gradually moved past the depth of my pain and was increasingly able to take comfort in my happy memories of a person whom I felt blessed to have known. Although I don’t know if one is ever completely “over” a loss of a loved one, I thought that I had mostly moved on after the passage of so much time. As the old saying goes, “time heals all wounds.” Or does it? Surprisingly, I recently realized that I may still have quite a bit of grieving and healing to do over the loss of my dear friend.
This post is a continuation of the key principles of Louise Hay’s philosophy. This post outlines three more of the points which are the basis for “You Can Heal Your Life.”
“Resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns.”
There are many thought patterns that can be harmful to us, especially if we engage in them on a regular basis. However, some patterns are more harmful than others, and Louise Hay contends that resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns of all. Upon reflection, I would have to agree with her. Let’s look at these patterns one by one, along with some examples of each, to drive the point home.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines resentment as follows:
a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury