Reflections from the Pulpit: Memories ...

Posted 2/29/24

We all have them, the good, the bad and sometimes downright horrific. I wish we could...

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Reflections from the Pulpit: Memories ...


We all have them, the good, the bad and sometimes downright horrific. I wish we could rid ourselves of bad memories but my experience is that if anything, it is the bad stuff that hangs on the most.

I don’t have a proven solution, but I believe that there are a few things we all can do:

First, forgive ourselves. Often the things we hang on to are regrets. Wishing we hadn’t done something or wishing we had. Since no one has invented a time-machine (yet), we have to put the past behind us as best we can.

Second, we need to forgive those who have hurt us. I don’t know what has been done to you but you have to forgive in order to live fully. If you are a Christian, it is mandatory to forgive. Jesus taught that unless we forgive, we will not be forgiven. But regardless of Christian teaching, I am convinced that as long as you hold onto hurt, you give the one who hurt you continuing power over you. I once heard someone say that those who won’t let the people who hurt them off the hook are the ones still on the hook.

Third, record your good memories. Few of us will ever write a book, but all of us can write down some important memories. What is your earliest happy memory, or your first heartache? On Valentine’s Day, I was listening to Billy Dean on the radio and he talked about exchanging Valentines in elementary school and it brought back a flood of memories. What is your favorite holiday memory? Are there many of them, write some down. Focus most on the positive memories because one day we may be living in our past.

I am often saddened when dealing with those who have held on to hurt that comes back up in a loop that is repeated over and over. My Mom, who was as kind and loving as anyone I had ever known, would in her latter years, ruminate on having to give up her dog as a 9 year old because her mother brought home her younger sister and her mother said she couldn’t handle a dog and a baby. That event had happened over 70 years before, but cropped up as conversation loop that would darken Mom’s mood. I can’t prove that if we focus on the positive that it will help us at the end of our days, but it can’t hurt because it can lift us today and that is all that we can control.

memories, forgive