Being able to move on from our past means that human beings are resilient. I brought into question whether or not I could move on from an abusive ex, but ultimately found the inner strength to not only do this, but to also forgive him for what he did. As I was reflecting on my situation, I examined the relationship between forgiving and forgetting and discovered some life laws that I now live by.
Forgive Before You Forget
Make the effort to fully forgive the individual before you move on. Only trying to forget leaves little room for closure. Coming to terms with what happened isn't easy, but is necessary to progress personally. With forgiving comes work, debates, and anger or hurt. These are all normal in this process. Forgiving means that the situation holds no power whatsoever over you, no matter how upset or angry you are.
Take Your Time and Be Willing to Move On
Genuinely forgiving is not something that occurs right away, like how trust is earned not given. It takes time. You heal faster when you genuinely forgive. It is important to keep an open mind and to be willing to want to move on from what happened. Only then are we able to move on quicker and gain personal insights.
Breathe and Focus on YOU
This is a personal journey, don't let who your trying to forgive win by keeping the situation in your mind. Why put energy into something or someone who stops you from being your best self? Meditation and sitting in stillness can help us to come to terms with what happened and provide us with the wisdom and strength to move forward. If meditation isn't helpful, find something that inspires you. By focusing on yourself, you see the person you want to become and can then weigh the true importance of holding onto the situation. Is holding onto it worth it? I never think so.
Forgive and Gracefully Never Forget
Because certain situations can be hard to forget, just know that you don't need to. This being said, if you choose to hold on to what happened, do it with grace. Don't feed the negative. Instead, hold your head high and display yourself with confidence. Sometimes it is okay to remember a situation in order to learn from it. Humbly acknowledge that you have experienced it, and use it as a tool to avoid the situation in the future. See my article of accepting trust as an example of this.
It's a challenge to not want to take the easy way out of forgetting and refusing to forgive by just putting it out of sight, out of mind. But ultimately, when we do this we hurt ourselves and hold ourselves back from growing. Although forgiving takes time, the journey is worth it. Even if you don't want to forgive, never let the situation have control or power over your life. Forgive at your own pace, but ultimately let go and learn from it.