I've finally come to realize that it's okay if others don't agree with my opinions or the way I conduct my life. To some my life may seem random, without focus or purpose. It seems that way to me sometimes for I have not accomplished any great thing, by the world's standards. But I have been married to the same man for 38 straight years-in-a-row-one-right-after-the-other, and we like each other better now than when we married. That's so amazing, especially when I think of those difficult times when we could have chosen to separate. Each time we chose to work it out. Those were the best decisions I ever made.
I believe all things work together for the good of those whose hearts are seeking after God. All of the things and events that have happened to us, all the choices we've made in our lives, the things that make up our individual histories, are all integrated into the people we are today. The good, the bad and the ugly, to quote a famous saying.
Problems may occur if we deny those events, decisions, choices. In fact, I'm going to be bold and say that problems will occur if we deny our past. Like our Creator YHWH, we are made body, soul and spirit to reflect Him, Father, Son, Spirit; yet in a mystery yet to be fully understood, integrated into one. If we have unresolved issues hidden in our hearts it affects our entire being and eventually those deep things will work their way up like rocks in the ground work their way to the surface to bend the blades on our lawnmowers.
We have to accept the choices we've made and make amends if we need to and are able. That means we need to ask for forgiveness from God and others, or extend forgiveness, even if it's <gasp!> God we need to forgive. We also need to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness is the great releaser. It frees us to let go of the event, removes the hook from our heart that continually catches us so we are free to be healed and move forward into life.
This does not mean, however, that we can flaunt the bad or even good choices we've made in life, for that demonstrates pride in ourselves and shows we find our identity in our hardships or accomplishments; or our accomplishment in overcoming our hardships; or in ourselves, a tenuous being who is changing every day. But neither should we deny them if we are to be whole and available to engage with others and embrace life in our present.
Measure by measure, freedom comes from the balance of embracing our past tempered with living honestly before God, ourselves and others. If someone asks, tell them the truth, using wisdom as to how much you tell them. Some are unable to handle the whole truth all at once.
This is a process that is never complete, will never be complete. For the rest of our lives there will always be another rock that will surface. This, too, is something we must accept. This is one facet of how a life must be lived. Acceptance of our past coupled with the pursuit and allowance of healing will birth a life well-lived with as few regrets as possible.