Letting Go Of The Past (Part G)

by Patrick Liew on August 5, 2011

There is one story that I have never shared with anybody before, except with my wife.

When I was in school, I had a crush for a girl.

Fortunately, I did not marry her. If I married out of puppy love, I would have lived a dog’s life. Ha!

We went steady for some years. Towards the end, we went through a difficult period of time.

I went through a lot of anguish and misery.

We finally decided to go our separate ways.

Shortly after, she got married.

But I continued my emotional struggles for seven long years.

I went from being a confirmed bachelor until I almost became a condemned bachelor. Then, my good friend, who became my wife pitied me and took me out of the ‘expired goods shelf.’ Ha!

During seven years of being lost in an emotional desert, my heart was never completely settled. I did not have peace of mind to pursue a relationship with another girl.

My friends organized many blind dates for me. I remember there was once we went on a group date.

It was a boating trip. I was attracted to one of the girls and we spent a good time together.

On the way back, it started to drizzle. I took off my designer’s tee shirt and lent it to her to shelter her body.

She promised to wash it before returning it to me. As I was still suffering emotionally, I could never get myself to call her.

I still miss my tee shirt. Ha!

I can joke about this story because it happened such a long time ago. And I have long forgiven my ‘ex-girlfriend.’

The emotional turmoil was long forgotten until year 2004.

At that point in time, I felt our Creator wanted me to close many ‘unclosed files’ and to close these files properly.

I had to call my ‘ex-girlfriend’ and, if necessary, discussed about the experience with her. At the end of the conversation, I was to ask for her forgiveness.

It was a very difficult exercise to carry out. You could imagine the emotional storm that I had to go through in my heart and mind.

It took me a while to decide to take action. You would probably not believe the unusual experience I had.

At that point in time, many questions went through my mind. The main one was:

           “How do you contact somebody you have lost touch with for more than twenty years?”  

All I remembered was she was training to be a teacher when we parted ways.

The other key questions include:

          “Was she still teaching?”

          “If she is a teacher, is she teaching in a government institution or a private school?”

          “Where in this world can I find her?”

Guess what I did?

I took the easy way out. I called the first school that I felt like calling.

I would never forget that teleconversation for the rest of my life.

“Hello, I’m calling to find out if you have a Ms. XXX in your school?”

“Yes. In fact, I just passed the staff room. She is the only teacher in it. I’ll connect you to her.

Before the teleconversation started, I was totally relaxed.

When the receptionist put me on hold, my whole body was literally shaking.

“What should I say to her? Does she even remember me?”

“Will she scream at me? Or do something worst than that?”

To cut a long story, we actually had a reasonably pleasant discussion.

In the process, I told her, “ I am deeply sorry. Please forgive me.”

She said, “I’ll forgive you. Let’s move on in our life.”

Once again, I felt like a burden was taken away from my heart and my back. I was being cut off from a toxic lease that was tied to the ground.

I was lifted from the pits that I had dug for myself. I could live at a higher plane of life.

In the process of forgiving others and seeking forgiveness, I learned some useful lessons to have a more forgiving spirit.

Forgiveness is for the brave, not the weak. It is the way of the winner, not the loser.  

Forgiveness is for myself and not for the offenders. I have no expectation of any response from them.  

Forgiveness is the bridge between a bitter past to a better future  

Unforgiveness brings me back to the person that I want to leave behind, and reminds me of the experience that I want to forget.  

When I don’t forgive, I help the offender  to strangle myself  -  in his absence.  

If I don’t forgive, I don’t destroy the offender, I destroy myself.  

As long as I cannot forgive, I cannot truly love. I cannot develop a deeper relationship with my loved ones and  make better contribution to their lives.  

Love embraces forgiveness at every given moment in my life.  

If I don’t forgive, I may transfer the hatred, resentment, and other negative emotions to my children and children’s children.  

If I forgive, I will be an example for them to have a forgiving spirit. It will help them to have peace in their hearts to grow up healthily.  

To help me to forgive, I ask myself, how will this negative experience matter in 1 year time… 3 years time… 5 years time… 10 years time… 20 years time…?  

I will not view the experience from my perspective, or from the perspective of the hurt and pain.  

I want to ask myself, What weaknesses caused the offender to commit the wrongdoing?  

How will a wise person respond to the offender?  

What is the best way to respond to the experience so that I will enjoy positive outcomes?  

Forgiveness helps me to become a better person and to have a better future. It will:  

          ·         Enable me to be liberated from negative memories and emotions.  

          ·         Empower me to refill my life with positive emotions. I can have more time, energy, and resources to focus on and design a better life.  

          ·         Enrich my life because the negative experience can help me to become stronger, more resilient, and better prepared to resolve other challenges in life.  

          ·         Enlighten me to become a more loving and compassionate person. I can connect and build closer relationships with others.  

Forgiveness prevents the hurt and abuse to continue in my life. It helps me to move forward  -  just as my offenders have probably done so.  

Forgiveness prevents me from sinking deeper into the hole that I am digging myself into.  

Forgiveness may not help me to forget the past, it can help me to start burying the hurts and the resentment of the past. I do not want my hurt and resentment to sabotage my future.  

Forgiveness empties my heart of limiting emotions so that I can refill it with empowering emotions.  

At the highest level of living, I want to not only forgive my offenders, I do not want to bear any grudges against them. I do not wish for anything  negative to happen to them.  

I want to be in a position to wish them well and to bless them.  

I want to turn the negative experience into a learning experience, an experience that will strengthen me and make me a better person.  

At the end of my life, I want to be proud of my past. I want to look back and have pleasant memories.  

Forgiveness does not erase the past, it empowers the present and enrich the future.  


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com

Visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Question: How can we overcome our pride, ego, and other obstacles so that we can forgive our offenders?


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