Reminding yourself of what happened in the past could be the barrier that’s standing in between you and what you’re meant to have in your future.-Melvin Davis
The past could seem so near when the hurt and indifference remains so close to your heart in the present. It was, as if “IT,” happened yesterday. And when you move from one chapter to the next, without thoroughly addressing unresolved feelings from an ex or someone you dated, expect contention and confusion, lingering and unanswered questions, and for an explanation to be given if the person wronged you. Remember, how you deal with the past would tell your new love interest how ready you are for love.
So how can you position yourself to meet the right one? This answer is simple, yet tough to put into action. You have to put in the work to want to move forward. You have to be dedicated. The first step in dealing with the past is to:
1. Confess. Be honest with yourself by confessing you still have feelings for someone.
The healing process begins with confession. When you are honest with yourself about you still feel about someone, whether those feelings are fond or indifferent, verbally confess from your heart, how you feel about that person. Confession surfaces the truth from your heart so you can address those unresolved feelings head on.
2. Next, be patient with the healing process.
For many people, healing takes time. Healing may take up to several months, maybe a year or two. For deep emotional attachments, it could take two years or more. Whatever the severity of the emotional attachment, be patient to the healing process. Patience meaning: Allow those feelings run its course. So, if you feeling angry one day, write those feelings down on paper or talk to someone about it. If romantic feelings arise or stir up, do the same.
Telling yourself that yourself that you don’t feel a certain way confuses the heart. But when you are honest with yourself about you feel about someone, the heart opens to change.
Remember, with patience, God can repair your heart, help you see the good of that situation, of how it helped you mature and evolve as a mature man or woman. And as you continue to reflect, you’ll see how close that situation drew you to God. All things do work for the good—no matter how bad it hurt. When God begins to heal you, your heart desires will turn towards what he wants for you.
3. When you’re done healing, embrace the grace period. Meaning, enjoy your time singleness.
Healing is a sign that you have moved on, but it doesn’t necessarily means it’s time to dive into another relationship. It’s important to give yourself time to breath and function in your singleness as an emotionally and mentally clear-headed person. You want to approach life, your new love interest with clarity, a sense of assurance, that you know what you want, and what will and will not work for you. You want to be emotionally and mentally available without reservations of thinking about what someone in the past did you to you. However, I am not suggesting for you to be naïve. Your past could be the barrier that’s standing in between you and what you’re meant to have in your future. Love that is.
The grace period is also a time to refocus and aligned yourself back with God, and to find out what direction he wants you to head in next. The grace period may also be a time for you to seek his will and purpose for you life, if you haven’t discovered it yet already. A time of singleness is a time of preparation.
In my novel Love Again, David Bradshaw, my main character, who’s getting to know his new love interest, Jennifer Washington, is still conflicted and confronted with the past. Let’s take a look.
In this scene, David is opening up to Jennifer about his ex, Maria. What’s in bold is directly from my novel.
David finished telling Jennifer about how he was there for her during some really tough times, like the time he helped her pay for her grandmother’s funeral, edited her research papers and essays while she was graduate student. Even after doing a number of related selfless acts, she was still unappreciative and selfish.
“How did that make you feel?” Jennifer interjected.
“Like loving her was never enough, but it gets better,” David chuckled at the painful memories
David recalled how he stayed with her, because he thought things would change between them. However, it was the worse decision that he had ever made. He returned to Venezuela from a book tour to propose to her, and found her on the beach in another man’s arms, kissing him.
“Talk about devastation,” he said, taking a deep sigh.
Jennifer gasped, pressing her hands against her chest. “Wow, David. I’m sorry to hear all of that.”
“It’s ok. I’m over it now.”
“Are you sure?” Jennifer saw his eyes boil, and his face tensed like a lion eyeing its dinner. We don’t have to talk it about anymore if you don’t want to.”
Here’s a flashback David is having while talking to Jennifer.
Strong winds clamored against the vast window, shaking the bamboo blinds. He stood infuriated with his back turned to Maria, watching the lightening flashes across the dark, gray skies. She stood behind the wooden pole with tears in her eyes.
“I’m sorry, David, but I was never really in love with you like I thought I was. Things kind of changed when you moved here.
You’re such a sweet guy and I mean that but…”
“But what?” David turned around and faced her. “What do you mean you never really loved me—you’re a…” but he caught himself before swearing at her. He vowed to never curse at a woman, but in that heated moment, a bullet from nearly left his verbal chamber.
“I’m sorry, David,”
“Sorry doesn’t cut it, Maria,” David closed his eyes listening to the raindrops on the windowpane that seemed to get louder as quick as throat dried, and he couldn’t speak anymore
“It’s okay,” David said looking away. “I learned something really important from that situation though.”
I’m sure you can see the contention David is confronted with about his past. And Jennifer has detected some lingering, unresolved feelings.
The past could be the barrier that’s preventing you from meeting the one God has for you. Face the past.