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  • Kimberly B. Lewis

Past Tears, Present Fears


Have you ever been a situation that sent your mind back to a place of emotional pain and caused you to relive what you thought you had gotten over?


Maybe you failed a test and the thought of retaking it sent a flash of paralyzing fear across your body.


That happened to me recently. One minute I was fine and the next minute my heart was racing and I had a visceral reaction. My fight or flight response kicked in and I chose to fight. It wasn’t a physical fight but an emotional one that came out in fiery words.


My “victim” was someone who is very close to me, who I would never want to hurt. A totally unrelated incident caused me to lash out. I thank God that he had the calmness, after a few quips back at me, to ask, “What did this trigger from the past?”


I immediately knew what it was. It was anger from all of the many times that I have been there for other people, and the one time I needed someone to be there for me, I found myself struggling in an airport parking lot alone with two heavy bags, looking for my vehicle. I know, it sounds pretty insignificant now, but at the time, I was chewing nails. My past tears were presenting themselves in present fears.


The airport situation wasn’t even unfamiliar to me. I travel most of the time by myself. It was just at this time, I was drained emotionally, spiritual and physically. I was not only carrying physical bags, I was carrying emotional baggage too.


More importantly, I realized that I had allowed past transgressions to creep into my present relationship. When we don’t resolve the past, we take the baggage with us and check in at the gate fully packed.


We all have baggage. We don’t forget past hurts, we move beyond the hurt of the past. This is difficult to do, as I discovered in the airport parking lot, even though I thought I had healed my heart. What I realized was that I needed to add a step to the healing. I needed to voice my fears and hesitations so that I could have a calm conversation based on my areas of concern.


Once I did that, it felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The weight was bucket of past tears that had turned into a large cinder block of present fears.


I encourage you to move that block from your life. Have the hard conversations, even if you think you’ve talked about it before. What one person says and another understands are two totally different things. Open communication can indeed help you to unpack your baggage and release the tears and fears.

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