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  • Lea Hartline

Our Past is Part of Our Today

Our past shaped our today. It made us who we are. Our past shaped our current relationships and how people see us. Our past determined our today. We might be ready to move forward, but we may have some things from our past we need to deal with to move forward. We may have people we need to help heal from hurts we caused.

This is my response to a meme and how this meme makes me feel.


A meme I have seen several times on social media:

"Throwing my past in my face is like robbing my old house, and I no longer live there."


Isn't that cute? No, it is not! It is gaslighting and narcissistic. The truth is that while you may no longer live in your past(old house), the people you hurt might still be living there in your destruction. When you say, "That is my past, so just get over it," you say to them, "I don't care how I hurt you in the past. I am not sorry, and I do not regret it. I have moved on, and now you must move on." The hurt you caused them might still be breaking their heart and causing anxiety, addiction, or fear. Your past is their world right now.

No matter how much you have changed, sometimes, you have to go back to your past to help others move on to their future. If you love that person, that meme is the most hurtful, selfish thing you can share. It is a HUGE red flag that you are not sorry for the pain you caused others. It is time for a change, and it begins by listening to the pain of others and not just seeing your own pain.

As a teenager, I was raped. My rapist left town, and I never got to confront him, but I often prayed that I was the only one. Let's say for a moment I was the only one. What if he left my house, went right to the church, got saved, and lived an amazing Godly life? Does that mean if he ever ran into me in the grocery store, I should just be expected to not bring up my past and let him know the hurt he caused? That was his past, but it impacted my life. His past is very much a part of my today. Can you imagine him sharing that meme with me and the hurt it would add to what he has already done?

I am ready to try to rebuild my past relationships, but where do I being?

A person can not change without ensuring that the people they hurt are okay. The beginning of real change starts with making amends. People need to feel heard. They need to see that you have changed. how you treat their pain tells them a lot about how you have changed. Ask yourself the following questions. What did I leave my loved ones to clean up from my past? How did I hurt them? Did I ever give them a genuine chance to express the grief and pain I caused? Do I owe them money? Do I owe them an apology? Do I owe them an opportunity to be heard? How can I make my past mistakes right starting today? What have I done to show them I am different?

If you want someone to move away from your past, it begins by opening your heart and listening to the pain your actions caused them. It starts by hearing them and giving them a voice. It starts by repaying those who tried to love you in your past. You need to take the time to listen to and apologize to those from your past. It begins with a grateful heart each time someone you hurt gives you a chance to rebuild your relationship. If you want people from your past to be part of your present, you have to acknowledge who you are today and who you were that caused the problem. If you were destructive enough in your past to use that meme, you need to stop blaming others for not being there for you and start being there for them.

Without making amends, you can't build a genuine lasting relationship with those from your past. If you can't do that, it might be better to live in your new house with new friends and family and let the others just clean up the part of your old house that is destroying them. If you ever want to go back and see old friends from the past, you will have to talk about your past for a little while. As long as you have your past family or friends, the truth is that you still live in that old house. You can't burn down your house and rebuild on the old rubble. The land must be cleared, and wounds must be healed from the past to move forward. So, let's start fixing it up.

Moving forward when they can't forgive.

Sometimes you have tried everything to make amends. The person might have been so hurt by you that they can't see anything but the pain you caused. There is a fine line between making amends and being stuck in your past. Sometimes if you have tried everything, there might be only one option. Don't rebuild that relationship.

Is there anything my rapist could do to make me willing to have him as part of my life? The answer, No. I have done everything to clean up the mess he made and heal from the pain. No matter how he has changed, I would not want him in my life on any level. If he changed, part of that change would mean being aware of my pain. He would be willing to allow me to close the door without using manipulation or guilt to try and be part of my life. He would not demand I forgive and forget. He would not post a stupid meme belittling my pain.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for those we hurt is to let them focus on their healing without demanding we be part of that healing. Sometimes the destruction caused cannot be fixed. Sometimes you have to move forward and leave the person you hurt as part of your past. The most important thing is being kind. Once they heal, they might be in a better place to see the new you. I know it hurts, but accepting responsibility for the pain you cause is essential for your healing and their healing.

Now I know some of you will say, "this is a Christian blog, so shouldn't you be talking about forgiving and forgetting?" Yes, that is what the 'other' person has to try and do. But when you hurt someone, it is not your job to decide how they react to your past mistakes that impacted them. You are not God, and you do not get to demand people move on and forgive you. It is your job to repent, try to be the best person, and be humble. It doesn't mean you should take abuse, but it does mean that you have no right to demand the other person be okay with your destruction. It doesn't mean you get to say, "I have changed," and expect them to just accept that. How you have changed is shown in how you react to the hurt you caused.

Stayed Tune: Next Blog Post, we will talk about Forgiving when the other person doesn't ask for it.

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Life on Faith and Fumes

Christian blog with stories, devotional and bible studies.

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