One of the traits of those who are depressed and anxious is to dwell on the past. Some examples:
- “Why did I take that job ten years ago? It changed my life for the worse. I should have stayed where I was.”
- “Why did I marry Jim? I would have been so much happier with Jack.”
- “Every time I think about what my mother said to me when I was twelve years old, I go into depression.”
Friends, you can’t change the past. You can only deal with the present and the future. For those I coach who have a troubled past and ruminate on it most every day, I show them a simple technique of drawing a line in the sand. “Let what is in your past stay in the past. From this moment on, there is a new you. Step over the line and live your new life. And if you slip back into dwelling on the past, draw a new line and go one. Don’t think that you have failed. God is a God of a thousand chances.”
This technique also works for those who are alcoholics or abusive or overwhelmed by a sin from their past. Draw a line and move on. Live in a new world. Let the old world slip into the past and be done with it. Sound hard? No, it’s actually very easy. Just draw that line in the sand.