“Message In a Bottle” is a wonderfully mystical movie about a woman who finds a bottle while running on a beach. Inside is a love letter from a man to a woman. The letter is a kind of romantic masterpiece stirring the woman so intensely she begins a quest to identify the writer. When she finally locates him she finds a broken man grieving for the loss of his wife who died tragically some years before. He cannot imagine a life with someone new and will not let go of the past. In the dramatic high point of the film, the man’s father challenges his son to choose: “choose between yesterday and tomorrow and stay with it.”
Personally I have found it very difficult to let go of the past. Not that there is anything especially unforgivable or unrepairable in my journey. It’s just that in those moments when I am alone, empty or indecisive, it seems easier to replay and obsess over all that has gone before. My mind loves to relive crucial life scenes and shift them around until they create a more satisfactory outcome. I recently had a conversation with a colleague who told me he never looks back and I was filled with envy. Imagine never looking back? How does one acquire that blissful state of mind? Christianity is absolutely about living in the perfect now moment, and the person of Jesus is eager to extend forgiveness and almost always ends his encounters with the directive to move on.
I wish I had the answer or the prayer or the therapist who could impart the secret to letting go of the past. This is all I know: the more I strive to be the person God made me – not who others tell me I should be, the efforts made towards speaking my truth, engaging with what truly inspires is enabling me to create my best possible life story. And in savoring the beauty of where I live, in having work that challenges and inspires me, in cultivating friendships that serve up a feast of laughter and passion – I find that day by day, I am creating a more compelling now than the familiar reruns of the past.“Whoever puts a hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.” Luke~