We all have our reasons for wanting to lock up some of our past memories, never to visit them again as long as we live. The problem with this is that they somehow have a way of haunting us no matter how hard we work to banish them from our lives.
What happens to us when we open up Pandora's box containing sad or tragic memories? Do we become anxious or agitated? Does it detract us from the happy lives we now have? I think the answer depends on our state of mind as we visit these memories.
I first learned to address bad memories at a Church retreat. The only reason I was there was because my friend Tony shared his experience attending the same retreat one year earlier. "I am a better husband, a better father as a result of what I learned," he said. His two minute commercial was persuasive.
On the final day of the three day retreat, we opened with a segment called "the Healing of Memories." Tony's wife, Lisa, played some tranquil music as we closed our eyes to drift back in time. We were asked to think of people close to us, to picture a time when we were hurt by them. We were asked to have Jesus go back in time with us, to stand next to us as we relived the moment we were hurt. Lisa asked us to let go of the hurt and ask Jesus for help in forgiving them.
Finally, I decided to open up Pandora's box and look at these suppressed memories as if I was living the experience for the first time. It wasn't easy to let go of some of the grudges I had been holding onto. It was like standing in front of a giant lake while clutching a pile of rocks that represented past hurts. Gradually, I let each rock fall into the still water. Each rock sent out ripples that traveled beyond my view. The music that was playing in the background matched the rhythm of the ripples. My body felt lighter than air.
I searched my heart for more of these buried memories so that I could drop them into the lake. By the time the song ended, I was out of rocks. I opened my eyes and the lights were turned back on. People all around me were wiping tears from their eyes. I felt so good inside that I wanted to go dancing.
Jesus can help you visit any bad memory no matter how sad or tragic. Once you find a way to forgive the person that caused the hurt, you are set free. Today, I am thankful that all my bad memories have been healed. It makes it so much easier to write my memoir now that I am free from past wounds.
If you are ready to open up Pandora's box today, don't forget to take Jesus with you. He was there the first time you went through the experience and He will go back in time with you as many times as it takes to help you recover from your experiences. That is how much Jesus loves you. He wants to set you free. All you have to do is let go. Go ahead, give it a try. Jesus loves to time travel with you, all you have to do is ask.