Regret! A word far too familiar for anyone prone to anxiety. We are sometimes pulled into the past through recurring memories that leave us weary with distress. We revisit decisions made out of blind trust, decisions made to gain approval of misleading friends, and we puzzle over decisions that seemed wise and profitable at the time but have turned our world upside down. History and its effects can recycle memories of the past until even the future looks dismal.
Here’s the best tip I can offer about rewriting history. It cannot be done, so stop trying. This is one form of recycling that’s entirely futile and has no salvageable value. We can do one thing with the past. Learn from it! What is done, is over. We have to move on, but there may be some clean-up acts to help us forge a path to optimism while learning to live above life in the past.
Forgive yourself for shortcomings, bad decisions, selfish acts, being argumentative, living a less than honorable lifestyle, whatever it is can be resolved – with effort and with determination. I’ve had to ask others to forgive me and it was uncomfortable, embarrassing, and in its own way – stressful. But the outcome was one more layer of anxiety stripped away. Anxiety can overwhelm us even if forgiveness is not a factor, but if it is, forgiveness is liberating. I like what Corrie ten Boom says in her book, The Hiding Place “ Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” I wish I could live so uprightly and perfectly that I never had to say I’m sorry to myself or anyone else, but that isn’t the case. My goal is to always be going toward the light so I make good decisions and don’t have to deal with regret. John 11:9 has this to say “Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.” I love learning life from God’s word. Psalm 119:104, 105 “I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Let’s remember today Philippians 4:7 “let the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Escaping Anxiety Tools for a Peaceful Life
- Focus on Philippians 4:8-9 – think on things that bring peace
- Protect your first part of the day; protect your last part of the day
- Learn from the past