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“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:12-14

Have you noticed that some people live their lives locked in and weighted down by their past experiences?

For a very long time I had difficulty sitting in the passenger side of the car, when riding next to large transport trucks or buses. As a child, I had been riding with my mom when a public bus forced its way into the lane our car had been occupying. Wildly honking her horn and to get the bus driver’s attention, my mother refused to brake until the friction from the bus’ rubbing up against the car caused small sparks to fly outside my passenger window. When my mother did finally brake to allow the bus to pass, I burst into sobs. So traumatized had I been by the event, that well into my thrities, I would still tense up if I found myself in the passenger seat with a bus to my right.

Having survived my oldest brother, who died in a plane crash, I grieved his passing, then eventually moved on (or so I thought). It would take my husband flying out on his first business trip (my brother had been flying on business when he was killed) for me to realize that I had a deeply rooted fear of my husband dying in a plane crash. The closer in age my husband got to the age my brother was when he died, the more oppressive my fear grew.

I know women and men who have ruined good, healthy relationships because they can’t let go of the pain from their last relationship. Why do human beings do this? Why do we allow past fears and struggles to stunt our present growth and hinder future progress? How do we allow ourselves to become imprisoned by the ghosts of poor choices. Better yet, how do we get free?

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Other Posts by Sheeri Mitchell on Elev8:

If You Love Someone, Let ‘Em Fail

Before You Put Your Man On Blast, Consider This

How Dora The Explorer Helped This Mom To Explain The Devil

Is Your Life Full Or Just Busy?

Let Your Mess Be Your Message

Five Jacked Up Apologies You Should Never Offer

Why Hookin’ Up Is Not The Move