How often do you find yourself facing the spectres of your past experiences? I find this happens just about when I start getting comfortable with who I am. Perhaps that's because my spectres are directly related to my self-perception...particularly my self-perception as it relates to other people. I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Other people have different spectres, but surely you've faced this, yourself. You've found yourself in a moderately comfortable place, perhaps not simple or easy, but fulfilling and comfortable. With me, it's typically a relationship. Not necessarily a relationship per se, but just a place of relating with another person. I'll be in a good place there when suddenly something happens, or some things happen, that awaken the past. Rejections come back to haunt me, past friends who just drifted away despite assurances otherwise float in front of my eyes. The kicker is that usually this new situation bears little resemblance to those of the past. Do you find that in your life? The situation that awakens the ghosts of the past is, when viewed rationally, not at all the same, but something about it lends energy to the ghosts. How do you face them? How do you react?
I'm finding more and more that it is a conscious battle. Silencing the spectres requires me to make a forceful decision about where I'm placing my hope and expectation. It requires me to choose to trust that other person, particularly when I know that the parts of the situation that have the most power to shake that trust are completely out of that other person's control. Trust doesn't come easy for me. Not trust in others nor trust in God and His work in my life. There are reasons for that. Some reasons attached to the ghosts of the past, and some not. It is so difficult and so exhausting to stop listening to those ghosts. To cognitively place my trust, my hope, my expectation in my truest Friend, Companion, Lover. It is a struggle. Perhaps the struggle seems greater because the rational decision to trust does not necessarily reflect itself in "feeling better." I know, and in these situations you probably do as well, that the spectres are still there, still under the surface, just waiting for another excuse to show themselves. Perhaps these struggles to overcome the ghosts of our past are part of "taking up our cross daily," of being a living sacrifice. Perhaps.