The Ghost of Yesterday

Posted: November 12, 2014 in World On The Edge

dark_tree_walkSome of the happiest people, I think, are those who accept  life as it is. They look at the good things around them with appreciation.  They let go of the less than ‘good’ things with the idea that they learned something from them.   They do not walk backward toward past hurts.  Of course,  this is hard to do.

Many of us are disposed to holding grudges about what he or she did to me.  We can’t let it go. We have to have some recompense–to balance things, we say. We let the ghost of yesterday take over today. And some of us allow that vindictive ghost to run our lives.

This will not bring harmony to family life.

Pope Francis questioned pilgrims about the harmony of their home lives at the Sunday Mass held on October 27, 2013,  during the “Day for the Family” in Rome. “I would like to ask a question today. Everyone – how will you carry joy home in your heart? How’s the joy in your home? How’s the joy in your family?”

What is our answer to his question?  Harmony denotes peace. Holding a grudge is hardly peaceful. Real joy comes when we accept that not every one has our best interests at heart, but that some do. And shouldn’t we focus on the ones who do, rather than the ones who didn’t?

What he or she did to me is in the past. No one can change the past. We have only the Present. And  we can  most assuredly make our Present, and possibly our Future,  worse when we concentrate on a grudge. We may even destroy what is good in the here and now by our vindictiveness.

So let’s turn our backs on those ghosts. Let’s look around to those family and friends who bring us real joy, and concentrate on them. Then, I think we’ll be able to see ourselves in the Present. We’ll see ourselves as ‘doing just fine.’

  1. Jim says:

    Another great post Kay. One thing I do struggle with is whether we are obliged to be in relationship with those who have caused much pain?


    • kph52013 says:

      I would say no. Of course, it depends on the circumstance–was this a child, spouse, parent–in other words someone we’d still be in close relationship with if they hadn’t hurt us? I would think those we’ve been close to, those we truly love, deserve a second chance. But I think common sense tells us that we don’t have to, and won’t, ‘like’ everybody–especially those who have intentionally harmed us. So for our own benefit, we stay clear of them, and try our best to forget and let go of what they did to us. Close the book, so to speak.


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