Give yourself space.
A few months ago I was scrubbing my white hand towels on a washboard outside in the sunshine. (Cause ya’ know sometimes the washing machine just doesn’t cut it:) This is the kind of manual labor that gives me some space to just process what is in my head and heart.
An email I read just minutes before my scrubbing duties, triggered memories of the past. You know how memory lane goes. You think of one specific euphoric event that happened in your life and then it’s followed by other memories, and some may bring up painful feelings. I have learned that when these painful feelings come up, it’s best for me to go with it.
I may feel the pain of the past, but I can heal from walking right through it and finding the source of that pain. I don’t need to run from the pain or go medicate the pain. I can be still and know that God is right there with me.
As I’m soaping the towels, some particular moments in my life not so many years ago came front and center on my processing screen. I was reminded of a lengthy period of my life where I allowed others to make decisions for me. Lengthy meaning about 17 years of my life; that’s almost half of my life!
Forty minutes go by and I have finished hand-washing all the white towels, but more importantly, I have given myself space to walk through some anguishing aspects of my journey. I feel a sense of confidence and lightness as I carry on with the rest of my day. How? Because 1) I don’t blame the people I allowed to make decisions for me, 2) I have assessed parts of me that are broken, 3)I was conversing with God about these growing pains of life and receiving His love and forgiveness, 4) I left a chunk of life’s pain on the washboard with the dirt of those white hand towels.
If you are human, like me, your brain will regularly take you down memory lane. Lanes are filled with joy, sentiment, sadness, pain, regret, confidence, accomplishment, question, what-if’s, etc. Don’t be afraid to give yourself space when they come. I’m sure there is not a guaranteed formula for every individual’s healing process, but if you take the time to find your tools, then you too can walk through the pains of the past and heal from them.
I hope you can find the courage and time to grow from walking through your memories, joyful or unpleasing.