Our Worst Enemy

9 Jan

“Sometimes your worst enemy is your own memory. Let it go.”  ~ Unknown

I don’t know how many times in my early life I heard the words, “You are your own worst enemy.”  I, like many people, was especially hard on myself and hypercritical of what I would say or do.  That was thanks to a perfectionistic tendency that I have battled all my life.  I would hear those words and say to myself, “You’ve done it again.”  Yes.  We are our own worst enemy.

Memory ranks pretty high on that list of enemy tactics, doesn’t it?  Our memories flood us — usually at the most inopportune of times — with plenty of reasons to be upset with ourselves.  Our memories can be so strongly set against us that we can sink into depression, thinking that there is no hope for us.  Our enemy, the devil, uses those memories against us.  He wants us to believe that we are unlovable and unredeemable.  If he can just get us to believe that, he has more control over us.

God, on the other hand, whispers into our ears over and over again, “That’s okay.  I love you.  I loved you then and I love you now.  Let those memories go.  Let those thoughts go.  Bask in my love.”  Oh, if only.

If only we could let go of the things that we hold over ourselves.  We are the only ones who hold those over us, you know.  If we would share those with others they would look at us and tell us that we are being ridiculous.  In a different frame of mind, we would agree.  Yet, when the memories are flooding us, we think otherwise.

Let it go.

Have we done things that we regret?  We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t.  Have we said things we wish we had never uttered?  Who hasn’t?  Have we allowed those memories to darken our thoughts?  Many times.

Let it go.

The memories don’t define us.  What we said or did don’t define us.  Who we are today and what we say and do today, those are the things that define us.  Let go of the things that keep you from being the person God calls you to be.  Let go of the pain, the self-recrimination, the loathing.  Let go of the judgment that you carry against yourself.  Listen, instead, to what God has to say to you:  “I love you.  I always have.  I always will.”

FAITH ACTION:  Bring to mind the things you hold against yourself and ask God for the grace necessary to let them go so that they no longer bring you down.