Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. — Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV
This week as we continue to discuss the topic of forgiveness, let us discuss Wayne Dyer’s 12th principle: “don’t live in the past — be present.”
When we find it difficult to forgive, often it is because we are not living in the present, and instead, we assign more importance to the past. We assign a good portion of our energy and attention lamenting the good old days that are gone forever as the reason why we can’t be happy and fulfilled today. Just remind yourself that today and every day, things change, and though no one respects others like they used to, in your mind, it is because if we had lived one thousand years ago, we would hardly know what to do! That’s how much things change. It happens slowly and gradually until one day, you look around and realize so much around you has changed that you feel lost!
It’s doubtful that other creatures waste the present moment in thoughts of past and future. A beaver only does beaver, and he does it right in the moment. He doesn’t spend his days ruminating over the fact that his beaver siblings received more attention, or his father beaver ran off with a younger beaver when he was growing up. He’s always in the now. We can learn much from God’s creatures about how to enjoy the present moment rather than being consumed with anger over the past or worrying about the future. Practice living in the moment by appreciating the beauty around you now.
Sleeping time is when God does His perfect work. Allow Him to electrify our subconscious minds with His conceptions of those “good works” He created you to do. If only we listen! Stop going to sleep at night worrying about what somebody has done to you, thinking of things you can and must do to get back at them for the wrong they’ve done to you. God has given us a spirit of forgiveness; reread the scripture Ephesians 4:31-32. Hang it where you can see it before sleeping!
Here are steps you can use for your forgiveness goals: First, write down who you need to forgive, write how you feel about what has happened, and say how you feel right now, being careful to be honest to yourself, and write your willingness to at least be open to the possibility of letting go of those bad feelings. Next, write how much better you’re going to feel, once you forgive these people. Keep writing it and saying it — I forgive you for leaving me, your wife, and for not paying child support. You surely will feel better when you have forgiven. Finally, become committed to allowing yourself to forgive. And be real with yourself folks — it must come from your heart. If you still feel that negative energy rise up when you see this person the very next time, your forgiveness is incomplete! Keep working, and soon this negative energy will be erased from your subconscious mind.
If you are a follower of my column, you probably have read what I said about trying to drive your car, while looking in your rearview mirror nonstop. Even a fool could understand that you will get very far! You must keep your eyes on the road.
Driving instructors teach us to only take about a one-second glimpse in your rearview and side mirrors — 99.9% of the time, you should be looking forward as you drive. That is the same with your life! So stop living in the past, and be present!
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. Visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.