When Your Past Comes Calling

When I appeared recently as a guest on Deb Sofield’s radio show, I sat engrossed as she delivered the first part of the program. She provides a monologue for the first few minutes of her show where she pours out her wisdom into the lives of her listeners.

Her message was about when your past calls. Her advice? DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE! Why? Because it has nothing new to say!

Here’s a truth: your past will ALWAYS come back to haunt you. Raise your hand if your mama told you that. Yes, I see all those hands flying up. Of course she did. It’s absolutely true!

Unfortunately, the one thing mama left out was telling you what to do at that moment when the past comes calling. And—God bless mama’s heart—because she left that part out, we have automatically concluded without a conscious thought whatsoever that we’re obligated to answer the door… or pick up the proverbial phone and have an endearing conversation with our past.

Not so!

In fact, we are under no obligation whatsoever to do anything even remotely resembling that.


So, you’ve made mistakes in the past. But today, you’re moving on and making a go of a new lease on life. Right in the middle of getting your groove on, working your mojo and creating your magic, here comes your past, lumbering into the room.

As Deb put it, your proverbial phone rings. The caller ID shows you it’s that dreaded call from your past. Let’s think for a moment. Remember the last time you were right in the middle of your favorite TV program and the phone rang? You checked to see who was calling and realized it was a telemarketer.

Not one of you pulled away from Castle or Downton Abby to talk to a telemarketer you never asked to speak to, who is intruding upon your “now” and trying to dump something off on you that you don’t want in your life.

What’s more, you don’t feel guilty about it in the least. Why? You value what you’re doing much more than you’ll get from the interruption, or what it has to give you.

It’s the exact same thing when your past comes to call. It’s an unwanted—and dare I say unneeded—interruption in your today. Contrary to what you’ve assumed is good and proper “My Past Will Come Back to Haunt Me” etiquette, you simply have no obligation whatsoever to entertain it when it shows up at your door.

You can’t go back and change it. You’ve already learned from it. You’ve already moved on from it. So why would you want to let it move in on you again? That’s like wanting to relive a root canal or brain surgery. Ummm… no.

The lock is on the inside of the door where you are. The answer button on that emotional phone is in your hand. It’s completely up to you and uniquely YOUR decision. DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE!

Thank you,Deb Sofield, for such an empoweringmessage.

How many times has your past come calling and you answered the door or picked up the phone? I really want to know your answer. Leave me a comment and let me know. Also, has it come calling and you didn’t answer? Share it here!


Reba, Once again, you've written such an encouraging, empowering post! 

My past failures used to "call" frequently until I really embraced God's mercies are new every morning. He doesn't care how much I messed up yesterday. He's given me a fresh start today. So I shouldn't waste that clean slate by scribbling all my sins and failings. But even after experiencing freedom, I'm not immune to the past calling and listing all my failures. But now I'll be even quicker to ignore that call after your message. Thanks!