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#83  The Past Has

One of my chores as a child was sorting beans to prepare them for my grandmother to cook. I looked through them spread out on a table, to take out the little sticks and rocks and little clumps of sand –You don't put those into the pot.

When you consider your past, it should be like that. Choose which memories you will keep, the ones that will nourish you, and whatever sticks and rocks and non-nourishing things you find, throw them out.

Memories are also like books. Some books can be read again and again, with new pleasure each time. Others, you only need to read them once, to learn what they have to teach you. They all have served a purpose, but some are better than others. Some have joy and beauty to give you, and some have only facts.

It is a fact that not everyone had a happy blissful untroubled childhood. In fact, most of us did not, and there were times in our lives up to now that were hard, and even painful. But there were also times that were glorious, joyous, funny, warm, comforting, and uplifting. There were small victories; there were some times when someone loved us, just the way we were.

Choose to remember those things, and think of them as often as you wish. Choose to let the unhappy and the unkind memories retreat into forgetfulness. Those do not give any good gift to you now.

All thoughts have power, but the hurtful experiences have no power over you now, unless you choose to let them. You have learned what they came to teach you, and they have no further value to you now.

The joyful memories, save them and savor them. Those will bless you again and again, every time you remember them. From time to time, especially when things are not going so well, remind yourself to remember them.