You’re allowed to forget about heartbreak – about the nights you spent crying on the bathroom floor and the days you spent not feeling like enough. It does not grow or expand you to hold onto such painful thoughts – so let them go. Your heart has healed now, in so many ways, and it beats to a completely new tune.
You are allowed to forget about your traumas. The injustices done to you by others – the wounds that you are warned not to forget. You are allowed to throw away each label that has been placed on you by the world around you – making you feel weak and stigmatized, rather than replenished and strong. You have shed so many skin cells, so many old lives, in all of the days that have passed. You are a new person and you’re allowed to be. You’re allowed to leave behind who you were.
You are allowed to forget about failure. You’re allowed to move forward with confidence, leaving self-doubt and letdowns in the past. You don’t learn any new lessons from agonizing over what has gone wrong, so let it fall by the wayside with your downfalls. You are moving forward and you don’t have to take the painful memories. Not if they aren’t going to grow you.
You’re allowed to forget about betrayal. About the people who let you down, the knives that stabbed you swiftly in the back, the broken promises and shattered trust. You’re allowed to place your faith in new people – to give them a chance when you know better and to love them with ferocity and strength. You aren’t obligated to let those past betrayals make you bitter. You aren’t required to carry them on.
You’re allowed to forget about fear. About the things you are told you shouldn’t do and the people you are not meant to be. You’re allowed to ignore the thrum of caution, of deliberation, of doubt that lingers inside the chambers of your mind when you feel paralyzed about moving forward. You’re allowed to lean into the fear with open arms. Forget what the world tells you about always playing it safe.
You are allowed to forget about all of it – all the pain, all the rejection, all the anger and despair of your past. You don’t have to keep carrying your wounds because you are scared of who you’ll become without them. You’re allowed to let yourself start all over. You’re allowed to let the past wither and die.
You can forget about so much about what’s happened. But here is what you need to remember:
Remember your strength.
Remember the ways you pulled yourself back together when everything came tumbling apart. Remember the nights you spent wiping your own tears and the mornings when you forced yourself out of bed. Remember the battles you fought through and won and the lessons you learned along the way. Remember your power. Remember your ability to prevail.
Remember the people who caught you when you fell. Remember the kind words, the happy memories, the times when you were breaking apart and someone else’s heart held you together. Remember the people who never left, when everyone else was walking out, and appreciate them for all they’re worth. Remember the people who stayed.
Remember every time when things went right. When you were barreling down the wrong path, headed towards fear and destruction – and something stopped you along the way. Remember that it takes but a moment for everything to change for the better – for your stars to align and for your path to reroute itself. Remember that the best things can happen when you’re expecting them to the least and let that be your motivation to hang on for one more day and always one more day.
Remember love. The love that you had for yourself, for those around you, for the future – when everything else was falling apart. Remember strength – the resilience you showed in the face of every challenge that tried to pull you down. Remember the beauty, the integrity, the amazement of every moment that took your breath away, in the years after you thought that you’d never be happy again.
Forget all of the pain of the past, and remember that life goes on.
Because when all the stakes are down, it’s the only thing worth hanging onto.