Things Gone By: When Love Isn't Right

Many years ago I met a man who was an Auschwitz survivor. Back then, it was “in” to be sympathetic to issues like the holocaust. In being sympathetic, people often quoted things like “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”

I was young, and in being young, often went along with the causes of the day without really thinking about them. So I was shocked when I repeated the above phrase, only to be corrected by the man:

“It is true that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it,” he said. “However, those who live in the past never realize their future.”

I didn’t understand him at the time. Wasn’t remembering the holocause embedded in the Jewish psyche?

Later I would realize what he meant when I had to struggle with various terrible moments in my own life. Nothing as gripping as a holocaust, to be sure. Yet, when they were happening, and for a while thereafter, these incidents became so all consuming that I often lost other good opportunities in life by living in the past.

We cannot go back and redo our histories. But we can learn from them. I’ve had to learn many lessons about love. One of the most important being that no matter how badly my heart aches, I cannot live the “past love” over again. No, it has to be a new love, even if it involves the same person.

Allowing the hurt and pain to have held me back from trying again cost me several wonderful men, men who cared for me deeply. Eventually the Lord showed me that I could love again, and that it would be with a former “flame” so to speak.

This isn’t retreads. People change. Life changes. And as we all change, each love can be new, even if the persons in the situation are famliar to us.

Journal Comments