Have you ever wished that you could erase what you wrote, delete what you said, undo what you did, or wash away what happened? Do you tend to go over aggravating events and wrongs, letting your yesterdays haunt your todays? Though a human “do-over” isn’t possible, a fresh, spiritual perspective is. And it heals.
It’s liberating to know that the divine Mind which creates us is conscious only of what is—always and only, what is. In the eternal now of Mind, no one is stuck in the past. Thoughts from God, Mind—of what is good and pure and true—refresh and renew us at every moment.
Ruminating over yesterday serves no positive purpose, but examining yesterday in the light of one’s present spiritual perspective can be instructive, alterative, and regenerating. Christian Science Founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 22).
In its spiritual sense, “revision” involves looking through the lens of one’s present understanding of God and His creation. In this way we can effectively “expunge” the limited, restrictive, or unjust record—until we blot out completely what does not represent God, good, and our real, eternal history as His likeness. We can drop pain, fear, doubt, insecurity. We can forgive that misunderstanding from long ago.
The definition of expunge is “to destroy; blot out; obliterate; erase; efface; strike out wholly.” And human memory is another depository to be wiped clean by this spiritual process of revising and expunging. A period of my life was so clouded by emotional pain that I avoided looking at any photos from that time. That’s not to say I didn’t revisit it in other ways. I was a ruminator. Almost any slight or hurt would trigger a bad trip down memory lane. During that same period I was spending a lot of time in prayer and study of the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures for my spiritual growth. And I was learning and growing—in fact, some months into my study, in the middle of the night I awakened with the thought that everything that divine Mind was revealing to me of the omnipresence of God, good—the power of Love, the purity of Mind’s creation—was as true in my so-called “past” as it is in this moment.
I was impelled to hop right out of bed and go to my photo albums. As I looked through them, I started to cry—not tears of sadness, but of pure joy. I could see nothing but genuine happiness in those photos. That was the end of the ruminating thoughts. My past was redeemed from that miserable pain, and I was healed.
Each one of us can exchange a material sense of yesterday for a clearer sense of the spiritual facts of today. Spiritual revision doesn’t involve ignoring bad acts. It frees us from the “bad” by recognizing its illusiveness and unreality, thereby expunging it from our record and giving full power to the present good that God is pouring forth. As we put aside ruminating over the past, we are free to hear the far better news: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).