You’ve heard the saying, ‘let go and let God.’ But how do you let go when the past haunts you? What do you do when your past follows you and taps you on the shoulders from time to time? How about the past circumstance that has a direct impact on your present situation and your future possibilities? How do you let go when you stare at your past every single day that you breathe life. How do you move on?
Moving on is not an easy thing to do but it is a required thing to do. Listening to Sarah Jakes Roberts, I was reminded that “…the climb is gonna require that you lighten your load.” In other words, the baggage that you carry around by holding on to things will impact your ability to move into your future.
Learn to forgive! Forgiving does not mean that you forget about the past. However, it does mean that you open up your heart for the healing process to begin. It means that you give permission to yourself to move on, to grow, and to learn from your experience. Forgiveness allows you to re-assert control over your life. Once you truly forgive, the triggers that resurface from time to time will not wrap you up in bondage. Instead, they will be moments of gratitude for you. Moments when you recognize the grace and power of God working in your life.
Forgiveness is not always about the other person. It’s also important that you forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for your actions, your mistakes, your thoughts. As humans, we all have points in life where we fall vulnerable to something or someone. Drugs. Sex. Money. Power. Control. Alcohol. Insecurity. Violence. Emptiness. That vulnerability may look different for each of us, but at some point, we all fall short. Accept that truth, forgive yourself, and move forward.
Your baggage might not be a past situation or disappointment. Your baggage might be a person. You have found ways to justify a relationship. You might need the connection in the future. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. What would the person do without you? Perhaps you think the relationship is worth keeping because the conversations and meet-ups are sporadic. Take some time to really assess things. What does the relationship really add to your life? What impact is the relationship having on your life?
As we continue to grow and mature, it’s important to learn how to let go. Genesis 12:1 shows us that, sometimes, everything and everyone cannot travel with us. The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” We must only hold onto the things and people we truly need. The things and people who add value. The things and people who challenge us to be better. The things and people who help us to push forward.
Imagine climbing Mount Everest in Napal. Its peak is over 8,000 feet above sea level. Hundreds of climbers attempt to ascend this mountain annually. Some have success. Others do not. Although there are few known technical climbing challenges, there are other risks. Such risks relate to altitude, weather, and wind. The climb is not a quick hour climb and turn-around. Instead, the climb takes several days. So you know the climbers have to carry food and other essentials, right?
If you were preparing for a climb, what would you carry on your journey? How would you narrow down the essentials? Who would you want alongside you? Who and/or what would you leave behind? How would you lighten the load?
Your climb is approaching! Start lightening your load!