Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is The Fear of Your Past Holding You Back?

"The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." - Isaiah 65:17

I watched a TV program recently called The Dog Whisperer. On the show, a dog trainer named Cesar Millan deals with all sorts of behavioral problems in dogs.

In one episode, Cesar went to help Ernesto, a smart, successful businessman in his forties. Ernesto had four children, all of who loved dogs and wanted one as a pet. Yet Ernesto was utterly paralyzed by a fear of dogs. He, too, had once been like his children and loved dogs. Growing up in Mexico, most dogs Ernesto knew played independently in the streets, and he had no fear of them.

One day Ernesto and a group of friends were being silly and teasing one of the dogs and it snapped! It turned on the group of children and started chasing them. Ernesto ran behind his friends toward his mother's house. The others all tumbled in and shut the door on him. He was left standing on the porch, and the last thing he remembered was the angry, snarling, vicious dog jumping for his throat. He woke up in the emergency room, and though he recovered from his horrific injuries, he was left deeply traumatized by the attack. By the time the Dog Whisperer came along thirty years later, a deep fear of dogs gripped Ernesto every day of his life. If he saw a dog or heard a distant bark, he relived the horror of that moment on the porch. Every day he feared a dog would attack him and lunge for his throat. His past utterly paralyzed his future. The intuitive and gifted dog trainer, Cesar Millan spoke to Ernesto with a gentle authority.

"My friend," Cesar said, "what is holding you is the memory, but the incident is gone. You are allowing that memory to live on with you every single day. We have to break the power of the memory and allow you to live in the freedom. It is over!"

Cesar took Ernesto to a rehabilitation center for wayward dogs. He opened the door to the dog's exercise area, and there before Ernesto were around fifty dogs.

Ernesto was terrified, but again Cesar spoke with gentle authority and brought truth that freed this poor wounded man from his thirty year prison.

"The dog that attacked you is dead," Cesar said. "You are not going to be attacked." In other words, forget the past and live in the present.

In that moment, Ernesto faced his fear and became a free man, completely transformed and released, and he went and petted the dogs and walked alongside them without fear.

Many of us are like Ernesto. Memories of past events, traumas, and mistakes live on in our minds and affect how we react to our circumstances today. It may not be a fear of dogs; it may be something more horrific - but a memory can hold you captive, influencing your thinking and the decisions you make.

I want to encourage you in the midst of whatever painful memories may hold you or rob you: God is calling you to look up and see the rainbow. It may seem insensitive or frustrating to think outside of or above your pain, but that rainbow is an incredible reminder for you that God is good, a new day is coming, eventually the rain will stop, and beauty and promise will reign over your life!


Denise said...

Wisdom is spoken here sis, bless you.

skoots1mom said...

so true...
how are you feeling these days? haven't been jumping around much these days...getting one ready for college.

NanaNor's said...

Hi sweet friend, I loved this post Kat and I've even seen that episode before(being a dog lover I watch Cesar all the time). Such important truth for all of us.
Have a blessed afternoon.

Just Breathe said...

Great post.

Miti said...

You have such great insight Kat! This is a great post!

I really like your idea of using almond oil. That would probably smell really good! I thought coconut oil might be good too!

He & Me + 3 said...

That post was right on. Awesome words.

tina said...

Thank you for the verse.
I needed that.
I appreciate your ministry ever so much.

Heckety said...

I am going to copy out Ceaser's words and remember them because they are so true, memories doe hold one, even though you know well its just a memory.
Thank you for writing this, and thank you also for seeing the wider lesson in the programme as you were watching- its a gift, and one we need you for...for which we need you??
(someone's grammar is a bit dodgy here)
Bible teaching and Church have their important place in our lives, but so do the little everyday lessons, you know?