The pastor of our church says it a lot, “You can’t unring a bell that’s already been rung.” Hashing and rehashing won’t change a thing in your past, it will only make you feel guilt and anxiety and depression.
I’m one of those people who rehashes. I fret over what I “coulda, shoulda, woulda” said or done. I’m not talking about something that happened last week either…I rehash things from YEARS ago, childhood even. That rehashing has not served me well. It has made me paranoid and afraid to say anything out loud for fear of someone taking it the wrong way and getting mad or hurt. If I have to discuss a problem with someone, I get physically sick to my stomach agonizing over the conversation to come. Will they see my heart and not just hear my words? Will they think the worst of me even when I’m offering my heart with the purest of intentions?
This rehashing is one very good reason I don’t handle social settings very well. I can put on a good act (I did go to acting school after all) and most people are shocked to find out that I suffer from horrible anxiety at times. Oh yeah, it’s bad…if someone says something angry or irritable or shaming to me, I will avoid them like the plague…forever. I am quick to forgive, but my anxiety won’t ever let me forget. If I think I offended someone or said something that they twisted into something I never meant, I will avoid them like the plague. If I know I hurt someone, I apologize but then beat myself up for it…forever, and avoid confrontation with that person at all costs.
It’s a vicious cycle…this rehashing and resulting anxiety. It steals our joy, blinds us to our own potential, and prevents us from being all that we were intended to be.
But we CAN affect today’s outcome…the things we do now, AFTER ringing that bell, matter. Every morning is a fresh start to the rest of our lives. Today we have an opportunity to do the right thing and hold our heads high. This is much easier for me to do when I remind myself of who I am…from this position, I’m no longer the person I was years ago, or months ago, or weeks ago…that no longer matters when my eyes are on His description of me:
wholly and dearly loved (Col.3:12)
chosen (Eph. 1:4-5)
redeemed (Is 44:22)
forgiven (Eph 1:7)
child of the King (John 1:12)
Oh happy day ! We don’t have to try/struggle so hard to be successful or special or significant or loved…We already ARE!!! THAT is where peace and joy and happiness are…in knowing how GOD sees us. He created me to be me and will use me to spread love and kindness regardless of my shortcomings and anxious thoughts. When the doubts creep in and the anxiety starts to swell within me, it’s time to remind myself of these things…
What about you? Are you a rehasher? What has helped you overcome this tendency?
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