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When it comes to pain and disappointments, we all have had no shortage of people who have hurt us. Everyday we work to move past the pain and find new empowering reasons to smile and be thankful. But often it is in those quiet moments when we remember and rehearse the pain, the disappointment or the betrayal. It’s time we stop rehearsing the pain of the past and start celebrating how good God has been and continues to be to us. The ability to choose one thought over the other is what propels us to victory or drag us into despair. Remember, the role your past plays in your future is up to you.

Letting go is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a moment by moment commitment to peace, productivity and growth. We have to set up reminders for ourselves on how to respond when those memories pop up and try to dictate our mood and steal our joy. Lately when I start to feel alone or overwhelmed, I reach out my hand for God’s hand; this reminds me I’m never alone and He’s always with me. It’s one thing to have God in our spiritual life, it’s a whole other thing to bring Him into our physical existence. Often before I walk out of my door and into the world, I hold out my hand reminding myself that He is holding my hand and walking with me through my day, and no matter what the day brings, no matter what memory comes to drag me down, He’s with me every step of the way: loving me, protecting me and providing all I need that day.

So don’t fight the past or the memories of the past. The goal is to not empower the past. The pain of the past comes to enslave us, leaving us stagnant and emotionally paralyzed. Don’t let memories of pain, disappointments and betrayal steal your current productivity, joy and momentum. Don’t let those memories snatch you from your happy place. Don’t allow the past to draw you into your feelings; stay in your faith place. If anything, allow those memories to make you more grateful for the present opportunity you have to do better and be better. Remember, no matter who’s left you, God never leaves and He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Remind the past of this eternal truth.