Dealing with the old.

3 Oct

I don’t know how this post will hit home for everyone, so  I want to offer up a disclaimer that if you have an ugly past, please say a prayer before you read on, (if you even decide to do so.)  I have recently learned that not everyone does well thinking or looking back.

Here is a truth from me.  I’ve written about my past before on the blog.  But truth be told, I didn’t even truly admit in-depth my list of sins and my intense guilt and shame.  I can’t image how long I’d have to sit at my computer to do that justice.  A few months maybe?  I realize many of us view our sins as “worse” than the past sins of others.  Somehow we find a way to give them an excuse. “Oh, you were young.”  “You didn’t know any better.”  “That happened before you were saved.”  “Well, just look at the example you had.”

And in the same way, we decide those excuses aren’t good enough for us because we are living with the consequences of those sins.  And covering it up with “I was young and stupid” somehow doesn’t make it better or fix anything.

I desire to tread very carefully with this post.  I would be as honest as always and share some of what I’m talking about in detail but I do have readers who have been negatively affected by my past sins, and this is not the time nor the place to bring all that to light for their sake.  However, I really think I can still do this post justice.

My husband recently brought to my attention that I do still talk about or bring my past up often.  I’ve been really thinking and digging deep to understand why I do this.

And I think I figured it out.  I have a burning desire to do two things.

1.) Prove that I’m not that person anymore.

Every time I sin currently in a way that reminds me of my past sins, I get physically depressed and ill.  The thought of being anything like my old self is despicable and unbearable for me.  I hate my old self.  I wish I could go back in time and do ALL of it different! (Of course based on what I know now.)

I feel like no one wants to, or even should be willing to give me a second chance or believe that I’m not the person I use to be.  (And I mean that all the way from birth to about 3-4 years ago.)  I feel like each year after high school carries a little less of a burden but I’d gladly erase it all and start fresh with everyone I’ve ever known about 4 years ago.

I think I talk about the past to acknowledge that I’m not a hypocrite.  I own my past sins. Shamefully, in deep humiliation and in sheer disgust, none-the-less I make it clear that I’m not pretending I wasn’t that person.  Almost in a twisted way that a person with an appearance issue makes fun of themselves to acknowledge, say acne, before anyone else can make fun of it or call them on it.  Kinda like that I guess.

2.) To speak the sins and mistakes out loud over and over to remind myself and others HOW MUCH they hurt me, hurt others, and totally ruined my life then and left a path of awful consequences for me to live with and walk out.

I so much hope my kids do not make ANY of the same mistakes that I did.  I want to spare them from so much hurt and shame.  I hope by talking about the real life negative consequences they will honestly believe I know what I’m talking about.

Let me give you this as an example.  “When someone tells you a lie and you catch them in it, lets even say more than once, even if they tell you later that they’ve “changed” what is the likelihood that you honestly believe them and trust them?”


On the flip side of this, there are others who bury their old self when they die to it. They want to leave it in the past, they don’t want to talk about it, they don’t deal well with the memories, and they move forward in the easiest fashion by never looking back.

I can’t speak much on that type of person because I’m not that type of person.


However, I want to acknowledge that be it in your marriage or even just a friendship, if you have one person who talks about the past and another who doesn’t ever want to bring it up again, you may be in dangerous water.

It is a very good idea if you recognize you might be handling things differently, ESPECIALLY if your past affects or affected the other person, you need to tread very carefully.

~If you’re a person who talks about the past, and you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t… you might be setting them up for temptation to pull forward a past hurt.  Or stumble on old consequences that they’ve already dealt with.

~If you’re a person who never talks about the past, and you’re dealing with someone who does…. look and listen for “why” they are doing it.  Do they need confirmation or validation that they really are “new” and “not a prisoner” to the past?


Practical Application:

~ It is really a good idea to think about your relationships and see if you are acting in an opposite fashion as those you interact with.

Even if the person you are sharing with isn’t affected by your past, you can pull forward old hurts they have buried from their own past.

~ If you feel like you handle things differently, set a time to maybe have a once and done conversation about this.  Explain why you talk about the past, or why you don’t, and give them a chance to share honestly as well.

~ Come up with a practical resolution together.



2 Responses to “Dealing with the old.”

  1. Valerie Norris October 3, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Kayla I struggled with my past for quite some time. I never wanted to talk about it. I was so ashamed of the choices that I made. I knew better, I was taught better my whole life, and I made those decisions anyway. We are still living out so many of the consequences of those decisions. I didn’t realize until a few months ago the physical damage that the shame I was carrying was doing to me. Walking in to a chiropractor who said “I’m really surprised that you have a problem with this as a runner. Runners don’t typically hold their heads like that.” It was from years of holding my head down in shame and trying to hide! Wow! God did not design our bodies for shame! It has been a daily struggle for me, and I really appreciate your honesty in dealing with your past and your shame.

    • kaylagulick October 3, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks Val!

      What a cool realization for you! You’re so right- we were not created for shame!!

      Your new self shines so brightly!!

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