You might think that in order to move on, to get over, to let go, to evolve, you must forget about the ugly parts. The things that hurt you, the moments that traumatized you, the people that broke your heart. I used to confuse healing with erasure, like holding down the backspace key or pressing an infinite delete button. But forgetting is easy, and it is also temporary. Time will pass and you will start to question who you are and why you are. And the answers all lie in your past, haunting you like ghosts.
I didn’t know that I needed to heal until solitude forced me to. The darkest, loneliest periods left me alone with my thoughts, causing flashbacks to my childhood, adolescence, and teenage years that I planned on repressing forever. And I think I believed that the more I tried to push these moments to the back of my mind, eventually they’d disappear. But now I know that I need to visit nine, 12, 15, 17, and 20-year-old me. I need to put myself back in their shoes and feel everything they couldn’t handle then — sit in the suffering they couldn’t stand then. I want to practice the forgiveness of others in the absence of an apology. I want to learn the art of setting boundaries. I want to explore my insecurities and embrace my flaws. I want to break free from the chains of seeking constant validation and believe with all my heart that my own validation is enough.
You can’t erase the difficult moments of your past — they are the only proof of your journey. These moments may have broken you, but they will build you if you let them. No matter how painful and scary they are, you will never be able to delete your demons. And once I accepted this, the healing began.