Hopeless Hope

We’ve all heard the cliché: “You can’t change the past.”And while the statement is obviously true, for me, the meaning was long ago lost from repetitious hearing of the words.

 

I know that I can’t change the past as much as I know that I can’t the number of hours in a day, the weather, another person, or the fact that for some reason God made me a brunette (nothing against brunettes – you are all beautiful – I just don’t get it).

 

However. . .

Knowing that you can’t change the past doesn’t stop you from wanting to.

This is where the problem lies.

You may know that the past can’t be changed, but still feel the sting of hurtful words, big mistakes, vicious abuse, unfair neglect, or pain cause by those you trusted who carelessly disregarded your heart.

You can’t change it, but you still feel it.

Then what?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received (thanks Oprah-radio) was to regard pain from the past not just as something “that happened” but something “that HAS happened.”

This means instead of saying, “I forgive them for what happened…”  I practiced saying “I forgive them for what HAS happen…”

 

As I began to say it this way I noticed a couple things changed in me:

       {1} The past suddenly seemed to become a deep, distant, unchangeable and    able-to-be-forgotten history.

       {2}  I found myself letting go of the HOPE of the past.

And that’s what I’ve learned forgiveness is:

releasing the hope that the past could have been any different. 

 

Noticing this, allows you to release any what-ifs of the past that have been plaguing you.

 

I say this with extreme caution but I truly believe. . .

It doesn’t matter if your childhood could have been different. It doesn’t matter if the love-of-your-life relationship could have been different. It doesn’t matter if that principal, teacher, parent, coach, love, best-friend, or boss could have been different.

It doesn’t matter simply because it can’t and won’t be different now.

No one can do for you now, what they didn’t do for you then.

The offender can’t change it even if they comprehended what they did wrong, wanted to, and tried.

And it doesn’t even matter whether what happened was fated or a product of sheer chance.

Your job is to take a lesson from the experience, and move on.

Once you let go of the hope that yesterday could have been different. . .  you are suddenly able to focus on a brighter today.

And tomorrow.

Let me tell you, today is the most beautiful gift you have.

And tomorrow looks bright.

 

Let’s make it beautiful.

 

Holding on to the hope of today,

Amanda Frances