Good evening ladies and gentleman.
Not to start slightly strongly, but I’ve always hated that phrase- “forgive and forget.” The modern day connotations it has to being alright with everything, being content with things going wrong and people screwing you over or acting in such a way you end up down so low in the inky blackness of your own personal darkness, you almost forget what the light feels like. “Time to forgive and forget” people believe it so intently. Does anybody really forget though- to move past something that happened, something you may have lost control of and ended up hurting someone, or even worse, convincing yourself you had caused someone you love any form of pain or anguish, without them ever really knowing what you’re putting yourself through.
Thing is though. I sit here writing about forgetting, but have so much trouble forgetting what I’ve done, as I’m sure you have done at times. Once upon a time, I worked to the idea, or theory if you like, that I shouldn’t forget, that forgetting is bad, because it gives me a backlog, an archive of information where things didn’t work, or something didn’t go the way I expected them to. This could be from anything, an exam, a failed friendship, a failed attempt to even understand what someone means to me, or I them. Even something as meaningless as being swayed in less than noble circumstances, someone smiling taking an edge over logical thinking, even if only for a second.
As it stands, I have so much stuff archived that the mental hard disk is full and would like to delete some stuff from the darker areas of my memories. I’ve seen people move forward in this way before, just deal with what they did in their past and somehow not letting it directly affect their future. They don’t avoid these situations because it caused them pain, but they don’t forget what happened either. They respect what happened and move on, so why does it seem so difficult? I like to think I’m not the only one having these complex, often awful thought process more than once, but the process always seems to go the same way, for one very simple reason.
I am so scared to forget. I just…can’t. Take life purely from a logical, rational perspective, just for a second. If something was to cause you pain, anguish, misery, envy, depression, to do as much as cause a tear to roll down your face as the motivation you were once so full of starts to drain away, leaving you bare, not feeling like half the person you were when you woke up that morning. You experience that sensation and it’s that feeling you hold on to, for the event itself is just another blip on your timeline. The pain and anguish you felt, the anger for letting yourself get to that point, the fear of it returning and impaling you on that same darkness, as next time you’re not sure you’re going to have the strength to haul yourself back up again.
While the mistake archive you once treasured seemed useful, it keeps you awake now too. Your sleep deprivation making you think about what could have been, what might have happened if you didn’t “screw up.” Your anxiety for screwing up feels like it almost owns you, because you daren’t think about anything else.
In my experience, when I work so hard to avoid “screwing up” again it’s a soul crushing, misery inducing way of living. More ironically though, is I’m not sure that any of us screw up half as much as we are convinced of. If you become so in tune to “screwing up” as much as you or I have done over the years, you start to think you know how every situation will end, without seeing the irony of the fact the only thing causing these mistakes, is you. Why do you assume things always won’t go your way? By thinking like this it’s like assuring this is the only way it can go. When it could be so much more.
What if to “forgive” was related to forgetting but they were not directly connected to one other? If this is the case how do we go about moving past the archives of mistakes and paralytic fear of making those same mistakes? By understanding that through it all, the way we see the decisions we make, the events that happen and the emotions we feel are a choice, for we become what we thinking about.
Above anything else, beyond any elaborate idea of eccentric metaphor I could pour onto this page to you- the most important thing is to forgive yourself. The smallest of mistakes you made on that day, be it 12 hours ago or 12 years ago is gone- the moment has passed. Whatever you did, or didn’t do, is done and the moment is set in stone. Think about how fast the world is moving, constantly moving forward, we can’t go back and change the past, so why not treat it as a lesson, a way to understand and overcome a barrier that has the potential to stop you living your life? Then maybe, we can live again, as purely and brilliantly that brings a life of happiness and success I believe we are all working towards.
I’m not saying forgiving yourself is going to be easy. Tell you the truth I’m not sure I can forgive myself. Understand what has happened and that you have the means to do something about it so you don’t make that mistake again. Through the way you choose to feel.
What if we could take these mistakes- and in a way, be glad we made them? Look at the mistake, understand that you screwed up, ask for forgiveness, be happy you got it at such a low price and allow yourself the privilege of continuing to live while becoming this new person. Learn from your mistakes, now a new person, with a different perspective from the same point of view. These archives, these mistakes will only affect us negatively if we let them overrule us so we stop living. The only thing you or I limit by living this way is ourselves and it’s up to us to change it, to choose to feel better feeling thoughts, for you and for me too.
Forgive yourself, but never forget the event. By forgiving yourself you let the negative emotions go, but respect what happened and learn from it, because this is life. You limiting yourself doesn’t mean it won’t happen again, it means nothing will ever happen, and if it does your far more better equipped this time. Tell people how you feel, tell your beautifully brilliant friends for the people you least expect could be your biggest asset through anything.
Through this, maybe we can all go on living. And I hope, be part of a Thinking Evolution.
Yours, with love as always.