As we go through life, we have a wide array of experiences. Some are positive, some are negative. Some are joyful, some are painful. As we experience things we come to conclusions about ourselves and the world around us. As a child I stepped on a honey bee and got a bee sting. That taught me to watch where I step and not to bother bees. Because of what I learned I now know how to act around honey bees without fear, and I make choices that prevent further pain. It doesn’t mean I won’t get stung on accident, but the majority of the time I am safe around bees. So the negative, painful experience taught me wisdom that has been beneficial for me. Another negative experience that ended up being for my good was when I cheated on a spelling test in the third grade. I thought I had figured out how to get away with it, but the teacher caught me and let the whole class know I had cheated on the test. I was so embarrassed, I felt so much guilt over what I had done, I determined to never cheat again. Because of what I learned being dishonest, I am now an honest man.
But sometimes things happen, and we come to conclusions that disempower us, rather than giving us empowering wisdom. For instance, in grade school I was teased and told I was stupid many times. Unfortunately I came to the conclusion that the kids telling me this must be right, and I embraced the truth, “I am stupid”. The problem was that this wasn’t the truth at all, I just made it my truth. I did not interpret those experiences correctly, and my incorrect ‘truth’ continued to limit me for many years. If you haven’t watched my basic introductory videos, I encourage to click here and watch the videos on light and darkness. When we misinterpret negative, painful experiences, we begin embracing lies and make them part of our identity. This creates inner conflict, because the spirit within us knows the truth of who we really are as children of God. But we begin to define ourselves as broken, hopeless, stupid, inferior, unloved, unwanted, etc. Taking these in as ‘truth’ creates a lot of stress and anxiety. It is depressing to believe that “I am hopeless.”
It is helpful to review the hurtful experiences of the past by imagining we are watching them in a movie theater, we are simply observing. Imagine that as you watch these experiences that Jesus Christ is sitting next to you. Ask him what he wanted you to learn from that negative experience. Ask him how this could be used to empower you and help you move forward in life. Ask him what the truth of the matter is, what truth he wants to you take away from this experience. Be quite within as you go through this, see what thoughts come to mind. The answers may not come all at once, but there are answers. You can find peace and hope no matter how painful the past has been. Every negative experience is meant to be for your good and help you move forward on your journey of eternal progression. God loves you so much that would not allow negative experiences into your life that could be used for good in some way. We have to trust that he sees things in his eternal perspective that we can’t see from here.
As you review these negative experiences with the help of Jesus Christ, you may also ask him what limiting belief or false idea you embraced because of this experience. Once you have identified it, put a shape to it. You may see it as an object of any kind or color. Ask Christ to forgive you for trusting darkness more than light, and give the object representing the lie to Christ. Then receive something from him that represents the empowering truth he wants you take away from this experience. If the memory still has a negative charge, then there is still a lie in there somewhere, something you need to let go of. You can get to a point where you look back on all of your painful past with gratitude for all the good that is now in your life because of having gone through that difficult experience. I am not saying this will be easy, and it may take a few weeks, months, or even years to work through all of this. But with God’s help you can be free of the past. You can be free to create a new life that isn’t poisoned by the past, but better because of the past!