Q: “How do you lose bad memories? It’s not that I am staying in the past; I simply can’t get the memories out of my head. I’m involved with someone else who loves me and I love him, but the memories of my ex-husband linger. He was not good to me or for me, so why I can’t I forget him? Help!”
A: The best way to lose bad memories–make better ones!
No one holds you hostage to your past except you. God gave us a memory for a reason. If we didn’t have one, we’d forget the saving power of love. We’d have no recall of those moments that brought us overwhelming joy. Therefore, we need to make the best of the blessing of memory. That begs the question: how do you stop thinking about the bad memories? Here’s a 1-2-3 “R” formula that helped me step out of my emotional prison.
1. Refile. I love the image on my PC when I empty files from one folder into another. Set up an imaginary folder with whatever name you prefer. Each time a bad memory finds its way to your recall, refile! Empty the folder inside your head into your imaginary folder that you have placed outside of your person, if you will. It’s a folder you won’t open, you won’t deal with, and one that will be permanently stored away until you decide to open it. The image of the file being dumped from your head to another storage place is empowering!
2. Replace. I found a great way of ridding myself of bad memories. When one would sneak up on my day or night, I immediately replaced it with one I had made with someone who brought me immense joy. It wasn’t long that my supply of good memories far outweighed the bad ones.
3. Resolve. Decide you will not remain a prisoner to your past. This is your choice, and no one else can keep you there if you don’t want to stay. Remaining in your past is sure to destroy your future with the one who loves you most. Don’t hold him hostage to memories that have no significance in your life any longer.
You have every reason to turn this around. This is a trap from Satan. He’s doing his best to remind you that you are not deserving of happiness or true contentment. But, the Enemy is wrong! God has brought you out in a spacious place; He has rescued you because He delights in you! (Psa. 18:19) Make your story one to His glory and defeat Satan. Once you do that, that is the only time you’ll open that permanently stored folder. You’ll be helping someone else through similar issues, but the bitter memory will have been replaced by the sweet taste of victory!