I always come back to my blog this time of year and look back at my old writings to see where I use to be — the frame of mind I use to think with and the lens I use to see out of. With everyone writing about how to succeed in this new year, it got me diving back into the concept of letting go.
I know we usually put the punch line at the end of the joke, but I think there is a very big difference between moving on and letting go. We use these terms interchangeably, but after thinking about this year after year, I honestly don’t think letting go is possible.
There is no such thing as forgetting.
We can’t let go of something that will always be with us in the back of our mind and in the depth of our soul. The things that are important stay with us. They stick to our bones like carbs in winter and never quite melt away, even when we’re ready.
We can move on, we can acknowledge that something we once cared about is no longer there, but we can’t change the effect it left on us, the mark it made on our lives, on our souls.
You just don’t forget about the important stuff, and I think the message we need to start spreading is that you’re not expected to forget — you are entitled to those memories. It’s how you label them that matter.
Lesson versus heartbreak.
Growth versus regret.
Knowledge versus stupidity.
Negative bias tells us it’s much easier for us to remember and emphasize the negative than the positive, so we have to relabel our experiences in order to move on from them.
Pain and suffering have such a strong grip on our ability to forgive, and I’m not suggesting that you have to forgive whoever hurt you, but if I learned anything from Brené Brown, it’s that grief lives in our shame and shame causes our suffering.
Suffering leads to our inability to make valuable connections, and it’s all because we’re stuck holding on.
So, this time of year I reflect on all of the things I have been able to move through: the lessons, the growth, the knowledge. I look back on my memories and congratulate myself, because even if it’s only been one month, day, hour, or minute, the more that I didn’t focus on remembering, the more I can make a positive change for the year to come.