the good way

Dealing with My Past

Session 8 • Maturity • Activation

In his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero talks about Going Back in Order to Go Forward. All of us, no matter who we are and no matter how positive our family upbringing was, have been loved imperfectly. None of us had perfect parents or perfect families. We have all developed unhealthy patterns of living from our family of origin and our culture, patterns related to money, conflict, sex, emotions, or racism that are not in line with the way of Jesus. Our past has a huge impact on our present, and if wounds from our past go unattended and unhealed, they will continue to leak out onto our future and all of the people we interact with.

“Every traumatic rejection untouched by the vital kind of forgiveness the cross has won for us, whether at a conscious or unconscious levels, will be acted out in some negative fashion.” - Leanne Payne

Telling our stories is an important part of moving towards healing from past wounds. Plass and Coffield, the writers of The Relational Soul, say that: “There is no possibility of soulful relationships without an integrated soul that has embraced its story (the good, the bad, the ugly. They encourage us to start by asking ourselves simple questions like:

  1. Where did you live?
  2. Who were the important people in your childhood?
  3. How did they influence you?
  4. What are your best memories?
  5. What are your most painful memories?
  6. How have your painful memories influenced your way of connecting?

All of us would benefit from seeking out professional counseling or therapy to help us examine our past more closely so that we can experience greater healing and freedom. If you need some help knowing where to start in seeking therapy, you can go to the Oaks Church website. Remember, that if finances make this prohibitive for you, please reach out to our Deacon’s Fund.


Some people find it helpful to begin doing some initial work of their own into their family history, in the form of a Genogram. A Genogram is a visual representation of a family tree that highlights relational traits and patterns between individuals. It helps us to look at our families in order to get a realistic picture of any unhealthy patterns that exist.

If you are interested in exploring how to complete your own personal Genogram, you will find really helpful tutorials and a workbook on the Practicing the Way website.

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