Have you ever had a moment where you are talking to someone and out of nowhere a profound quote appears? Well, that happened to me the other day. We were talking about life and its dynamic complexities and somehow we started talking about hurt. Then the Lord blessed us with this beautiful quote, “present hurt knows past hurt, but past hurt should not impact present hurt”. What does this mean? Good question.

When we experience hurt in the present, our emotions start scrolling through our emotional rolodex and identifies past times that we have felt the way we are feeling at that moment – not only when, but the what, the where and the who. Present hurt is transported to those instances where that emotion last visited. You may even begin to see faces and familiar surroundings. It is normal to go through this at the onset of the emotion, but it may be detrimental to stay in this state because if you do, you may begin to compromise your present based on your past.

It is easier to say that past hurt should not impact present hurt than it is to execute this principle in the moment. Past Hurt showed you who you were and who you were not. Past Hurt opened its arms to you when the individual who placed you there was not available (emotionally) to help you process your thoughts and your emotions. Past Hurt is faithful and will often check in on you now and again to see if the lessons learned in the intimate embrace had any lasting impact. While Past Hurt made major contributions to your character (and for some, your self-worth), Past Hurt should be given limitations.

Past Hurt can be likened to a past lover. During the time of the relationship, you two were possibly inseparable and spent much time together. You made yourself vulnerable and opened your heart to give and receive the intangible wholeness of one another. Everything was good. You felt needed, wanted and purpose was evident and free flowing. Then something changed. You are not sure if it was you or them, but you recognized that the union that had potential to last forever had to come to an end. And it did. It was tough, but you made it.

In other words, Hurt was with you and gave you strength when you needed it by justifying your dislike for an individual or thing. Hurt made you feel secure because you were able to rely on it to be present at all times, even when genuine love and good intentions tried to get close to you. Hurt told others to keep away because you were taken and was not on the market for anyone else. Somewhere, somehow, Hurt realized that what you two had could not last forever. You began to see Hurt for what it was and had the epiphany that Hurt could not journey with you to wholeness because it could only offer bitterness. With this in mind, you either moved out of Hurt’s home or maybe you kicked Hurt out. Either way, you two were no longer together and you were free. In your present place, Past Hurt appears in an effort to reconnect and make the relationship exclusive like it once was before. If not careful, your Present Hurt can become enmeshed and entangled in the web of Past Hurt and alter your trajectory to wholeness.

I have been there. It is hard to know what to do when Present and Past are fighting over the residence of your heart. If I could offer any advice, it would be to reject them both. Past is not worthy of your Present and Present will become the past once you realize you are too good for both.