Within the last couple of weeks, two of my friends lost all email and/or text history from their smart phones. One friend lost her texts by accident, and she couldn’t figure out where they went or how to get them back.
At first, she was upset.
“I have a lot of special memories and messages in my texts that I was saving,” she lamented.
She did every thing she could to restore the messages, but anything that had taken place in the past was gone. POOF.
Before long, though, she realized that many of the messages she lost were not positive ones. Some were from a cruel ex-boyfriend, others just reminded her of hard times. She recognized that in her text history she had both positive and negative memories that were now forever gone. Instead of mourning the loss of the good things that she missed, she looked at her email history. She decided to spend a day purging her past, getting rid of emails, too, that took her to a place and time that she would rather forget.
My other friend woke up one morning deciding to move forward with her life. She set out to purge her email intentionally. The way to begin that fresh start, she decided, was to willingly remove her past. Before she was done selecting messages to delete, she had over 2000 ready for the trash folder.
Her smart phone was concerned.
“Delete history?” it asked.
“Yes,” she responded with a sigh.
Two friends, one outcome: an erased past.
Can we really delete our history, get rid of those inconvenient or unpleasant realities that we’ve lived through? No, we cannot erase the past. But we can choose to give ourselves a fresh start each day, to will ourselves to not let any mistakes we made in the past to control us today.
A buddy of mine practices what he calls a living amends. His father died before my friend could apologize for the hurt he caused him. Since he couldn’t go back in time to make it right, he decided to act differently in the future as a way of asking his father’s forgiveness. My friend can’t erase his past, but he can live differently each day so as ensure that the mistakes he made in the past remain there.
Erasing the past. Is it possible? The only way your history can hurt you is if you let it. Some pain may linger. But you can fight it by retaining and living the lessons you learned along the way and deciding not to let the past become your present or your future.