"Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. "
Jeremiah 31:21 (New International Version)
Back in my college days many of my friends and I were unsure as to where we were going in life. We signed up for classes with no distinct plan in mind other than to avoid the draft and not be sent to Viet Nam. My days were often spent attending classes and getting by with the minimal amount of effort. Nights carried on late as we gathered in idleness with philosophical ruminations and foolish chatter.
On one of those nights I proposed an idea. I asked my companions what if we were to walk out the door and begin walking into the night in a westerly direction and continue to walk in as straight of a course as we could possibly maintain. I enthusiastically began to attempt to convince them that we should do it at that moment with no further consideration. We laughed about the idea until the end of the evening when we departed company.
The idea persisted in my mind into the following day as I imagined the adventure and the feeling of escape from the rut in which I had been stuck. However, as I dreamed on, the realities begin to take hold. On such an endeavor one would encounter many obstacles like private property, barricades, rivers, and mountains. I imagined myself in the dark of night crossing a cow pasture and becoming ensnarled in a barbed wire fence. I shook off the fantasy and realized I had been excited about an unrealistic pipedream.
In the real world, others have already blazed most of the trails that we have the option of taking in life. On our life journeys there are usually clearly marked paths that we can follow. When there aren't we need to research how we are getting where we plan to go. Some of us fret and worry about an unknown future when we can rationally solve many of our apprehensions by reasoning and study. Fretting about the future at the expense of not getting anything done in the present is a waste of valuable time. An old proverb states, "Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." You will be unprepared for the future if you do nothing about it today.
Some of us are so lost in the hurts and regrets of the past that we have a difficult time coping with the future, let alone planning for the days ahead. Memories of past traumas can be painful, but they can be dealt with successfully. As difficult as it might be, if we truly want to progress in our lives, we must let go of whatever it is that holds us back. The journey can be difficult enough without carrying a lot of useless baggage.
Unless you can find a good use for that baggage, it's going to get you nowhere. Some folks have found ways to capitalize on past sufferings by sharing in order to help others who might be facing the same difficulties, but not everyone can write a book or give speeches about what they've had to deal with in life. If those bad memories are just weighing down your thoughts and your ability to function normally, then you need to face them head on and insist upon their departure. You are in control if you take control.
So you say you can't because you are too weak or the trauma has been too great? There are plenty of help books out there and many of them have useful information. However one book stands out more than all the others and that is the Holy Bible. Some may think it's too religious, it's too hard to understand, it's too boring, or too old fashioned. Have you honestly looked at it with an open mind and given it a chance?
The Bible can work as a great life road guide, a solver of problems, and a comfort in rough times. Before you say that you don't need the Bible and that you will get professional help or you will help yourself and then, eventually, you will finally find happiness, think again. Have you found happiness yet? Roy M. Goodman said, "Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.".
…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.... (Philippians 3:13, NIV)