“Clear Your History!”

Southern Cross Station, Melbourne

Image by sachman75 via Flickr

Not long ago I discovered the meaning of “history” according to MacBook. I clicked on to the “History” feature and was given the option to “Cancel” or “Clear”. I chose “Clear”. I was then asked, “Are You Sure You Want To Clear?”, along with the question came a warning, “You can’t undo this action”.

Clearing your history is possible, but it’s something you have to want to do and it has to be final when you do it.

Above the screen I am writing on right now there is in the left corner the words “File”, “Edit”, “View”, and “History”. The “History” is the history of the websites I have referenced. When you click “History” a list of the websites and entries I have used as resources appear.

My “history” is not arbitrary. My “history” is what I have initiated. It is what I have done. It is where I have been. My “history” is not what someone has done to me. (That would be my past!) My “history” is my participation and my decisions that have put me where I am right now.

There are options to how you can respond to your “history”.  Some choose to “File” it. When you “file” your history you are choosing to store it. There is something painfully attractive to many of us about our wrecks and crashes. We are drawn back to the moments of our failures and mistakes. We are coaxed by our fears to think about the last hurdle we didn’t clear.

This kind of filing keeps your life cluttered with regrets and remorse. When you “file” you have to hold on to old thoughts, old emotions and old hurts. Bitterness can take root in soil that is filled with files.

Some choose to “Edit”. Editing can be a form of denial. Revisionists want to remember what never happened. When you edit your history you began to rewrite your history. You perhaps deny a history that is truly yours. The pain of our own participation in the dilemmas and wounds of our lives keeps us from wanting to deal with our real history.

We have the ability to be victims and villains of our own design. We “edit” our histories, most of the time, because we are as much the nemesis of our narrative, as we are the hero. We cannot however, “cut” and “paste” our way to wholeness. We have to deal with what has shaped our stories and created our history.

Some others choose to “View”. When you “view” your history you are hiding it or showing it based on your own agenda. When we view our history we are keeping our pains and wounds in a place where we can use them to manipulate, if necessary. It becomes our emotional capital. It is the leverage we use to control people.

Some of us hide our wounds behind hard and harsh attitudes. We are unapproachable. We use our history as an excuse to be closed and unfriendly. Then some of us parade our wounds so that we can keep people tied to our dysfunctions. We show people our pain so we can capture them and make them our co-dependants. People who use “View” to deal with their history are hurt people getting ready to hurt people.

Those persons whom move behind past failures and mistakes or those who know what to do with their history. The Apostle Paul didn’t own a laptop but he did understand the power of “history”. Paul facing his own history says, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto to those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling..” (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul cleared his history. He refused to live in the past. He embraced his present. He went after his future. You can do the same!

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