I learned a few years back through a song about the words “no condemnation”. I was curious about that and learned what God said in Romans 8:1 “Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.” And I realized then, that I had been carrying a ball and chain around for everything I had done since a young girl. I remember thinking wow – how awesome. I have been a Christian since a little girl. I did a lot of backsliding through teenage and young adult years knowing all along that God loved me and that I should repent when I did something wrong. Well, what I missed was this: God has forgotten it! He forgave me as soon as I asked and truly meant it and turned away from it….but yet, I would pick it up again and worry over it, fret over it, obsess over my wrong. Try to make up for it, never understanding – truly understanding – God has forgotten it! Forgotten – forgot – forget – doesn’t remember – doesn’t think about – doesn’t enter his mind – ever again! What?
But that ole devil – won’t let us forget. Oh no – He is in the business of ‘let me help you remember it!!!!) He is all about pricking you over and over with it with his so called pitchfork. Remember when? – remember how? Oh –don’t forget you did or said that! – Remember ..remember remember!!!!
As humans it is so easy to get caught up in the condemnation of others but really internally carrying the blame around like an albatross. Surely others must see how awful we were to do that or think that! Guess what? …They are over there either doing one of two things…(1)enjoying their life because they remember God forgave and forgot …or (2)they are like myself – are carrying the yoke around like an ox! They don’t have time to think about me! But I bet we could point each other out! We are the ones looking into the eyes of others wondering if they are wondering about us and wondering if they can see the color of shame! As my life coach recentlly said to me….STOP IT ..STOP IT …STOP IT!
We tell ourselves stories as he pointed out. Those stories can be detrimental to us. They are the stories whispered in our ears by ‘you know who’ in the remember business. They are stories about what we don’t have, what we should have, what we should have done etc and on and on or and why things aren’t happening for us because this and that and on and forever…Yet, we have never been physically ..directly told anything such or similar. We adopt the stories maybe others have told us about ourselves, like the 11 years of ‘you are stupid and unworthy and incapable that I heard everyday”! Like myself after years and years…we carry the load of being the most incapable, most un-forgiven – most shamed, like it is some reward – that we are the martyr if we carry this – that it somehow redeems us to carry the load!
To switch gears – yesterday – I tossed out a lot of old newspapers that I had been collecting. I had kept them thinking that I would (1). read them again – maybe an article that I would like to look back at (2). my son would need something from them subject matter wise for school and (3) that I could use them for packing …when I moved…well yesterday one by one, by many – I tossed them into garbage bags and into recycle bins and out the door of the house and you know what? – I realized I was letting go of a lot of things – namely the past! It was a ceremony of releasing – the past – shame and regret and even others.It ultimately was releasing myself! Like those old newspapers – I was holding onto the past and my regret and my shame and my what if’s – and maybe it it went this ways’s or I had done this or that’s – it was now properly and neatly loaded into the bins and out it went away from me! I closed the door and said to my father …”well that is one way to let go of the past”. He chuckled! Yep is all he said!
I think sometimes we need to have these ceremonies for ourselves to ‘let go’ of things. It was so refreshing and I actually felt lighter and stood a little taller. There was a sense of accomplishment and of release.I smiled a little more – breathed a little easier – all from tossing out the ‘words that I had held onto’! It was a great lesson for me that from time to time, I need to do a deep release houseclean – …clutter free day or have a release party! It is so easy to pick those things up – even attitudes about others and about ourselves that we should not be burdening our lives with. I think I’m going to pick a day on my calendar and on that day – do a mental and an emotional and a physical inventory of the things that I am holding onto – and depending on what I find – if there is anything – those nice green bins are waiting outside to toss them into!
What are you collecting? What are you holding onto? When is your next cleaning day or release party? I would love it if you shared your stories of release with me. How did it make you feel? Were you like myself – set free?
Heading down to enjoy my day – and one thing I will not be doing is picking up and saving anymore newspapers – read it once and toss it!