We have been looking at just a few of the chains which bind us. Today we are going to spend some time addressing the first chain mentioned; “chains of the past’. One of the realities of life is captured in the words of George Santayana, “those who cannot remember the past are destined to repeat it”. In order to live a life free of chains, we must first face our past.
THE PAST MUST BE LEFT IN THE PAST
I need you to find a quiet place a book and a pen,
Sit in your most comfortable position
Take 7 controlled deep breaths slowly breathing in and out, allowing fresh air to fill you longs and by extension your brain cells
Allow yourself to reflect on the situations in your life which has caused you to feel
Make headings to identify each of them separately.
In the process of going through these steps you may become very emotional; if you feel the tears begin to sting your eyes allow them to flow. Personally one of the ways I cope with negative experiences is to bury them so far within, I consciously forget them. It works but only on the surface. Like a house that is built on shifting ground is one day certain to crack and come apart. So it is with us. The hurts of the past even when we don’t regularly recall them, certainly eat away at our foundation. One day we are guaranteed to crack, even fall apart. Only the persons closest to us, at times, are able to see signs of the underlying damage which is taking place within us. I need you to uncover those negative experiences you have buried way beneath your surface; In order to deal with them effectively, we must bring them to the surface.
THE THINGS THAT CANNOT CHANGE
I am almost certain you have heard of the serenity prayer – if not allow me to quote it for you.
God grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change
the wisdom to change the things I can;
and the knowledge to know the difference.
I am often compelled to share this prayer with my fourteen-year-old son, who is greatly challenged but a number of changes that occurred in our family. Holding on to the wounds of the past, they bleed into our future.
The only way to be free from this dilemma is to accept that the past is the past, there is absolutely NOTING you can do to change. God has given you the power to change your future in spite of your past.
THE THINGS YOU CAN CHANGE
There is no way to change the experiences of the past, as tragic or traumatizing as they may be. We can easily come up with a list of terrible experiences that people are forced to live with starting as early as childhood. Those things we can do nothing about, what we are required do is, develop coping skills which will enable us to live a valuable and productive life in spite of our history.
You can change your bitterness in a blessing,
Turn your sorrow, into joy,
Turn your weeping, into dancing
Your pain into purpose.
This is the purpose for my writing to help you on this journey that’s called life, to get us all to a place where the pains of the past no longer hold us in chains.
TAKE HOLD OF YOUR FREEDOM TO LIVE
Now let us go back to the list of negative experiences, you made earlier. I am certain they did not make you feel positive. The only way to bring about positivity out of those negative experiences is to address them one by one. Next, I want you to list the names of the persons who are tied to those experiences; anyone living or dead who would have contributed to the hurt you feel in relation to those painful experiences in your past.
When you have completed your list of names; I want you to call each name on the list one by one and say these words.
NAME THE PERSON I give myself permission to forgive you and release you from the pain you have caused me. I let you go NOW. What you did to me can no longer hurt me. I am free, the chains are broken, I forgive you. God has given me the grace, strength, and courage to forgive you.
Repeat this process every day for one week, until you are convinced you are experiencing that release in your heart. For some of you, it will only take one day, for others it will take more. You can cross out the names one by one as you begin to experience your release. When every name has been crossed out, have a victory burning of that list.
It was Alexander Pope who said “to err is human – to forgive is divine”. What a unique statement. Mankind finds it easier to commit wrong than to do right. It’s part of our sinful nature. It takes God in us to forgive, making it a divine act. Our natural human response is to protect ourselves from harm, physical, emotional, or spiritual. Whenever we experience hurts, in order to avoid being hurt again by the same person; our defenses go up. We become determined to never let it happen again. We make an unconscious decision to hold them to the act they committed. The danger lies in the reality that we also tie ourselves to them and the act of the resulting pain. This act binds us with chains of unforgiveness which now eats at our well-being. In order to become from such persons and the acts they committed we must set them free by a conscious decision to forgive.
For the next seven days until we connect again, go through your list forgive them one by one ask God to heal your brokenness, and give you the strength to forgive. I welcome your comments, let me know how this has helped you. Should your response be personal feel free to email me; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love & Blessing
Suzanna, Founder Break Every Chain