This Is What Healing REALLY Means, Because It’s So Much More Than ‘Forgive And Forget’

Lady Silently Stands among the Christmas Trees while Holding a Hand Saw
God & Man

Healing isn’t like Samantha on Bewitched and twitching your nose and suddenly alleviating everything. You don’t choose to “forgive and forget” and suddenly hit a miraculous off switch to your sadness, cough up the dust, or become suddenly stitched back together.

Healing is about doing what makes you feel good.

If it’s forgiveness, if it feels right, then forgive. If forgiving is what you feel you have to do to pick up all the pieces, to wash the smoke from your hair, to move on and to heal, then do it.

If you can’t forgive, then remember that you are under no obligation to pardon your executioner. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t forgive. Forgiveness is a lot like saying I love you in that it isn’t real if you don’t really mean it.

Whoever told you forgiving is essential for healing was wrong. Some things don’t deserve forgiveness.

Sometimes forgiveness doesn’t serve you. Sometimes forgiveness only serves the person holding the knife.

Healing is about so much more than forgiving and forgetting.

Some things shouldn’t be forgotten either. Everything you’ve been through should serve as a reminder that no matter what has happened to you, no matter who has hurt you, no matter what you’ve endured, you’re still here. That you’re a goddamn wildfire. Learn from your heartache. Try to watch anybody try to put you out again.

Sometimes healing isn’t so much about forgetting as it is about letting go. To let go, to heal, you must come to terms with who and what hurt you, with things as they are, with who you are as a result of your pain.

Healing is becoming who you are. Healing is being reborn, even if it’s messy, even if you aren’t who you were before.

Sometimes healing is about reinventing yourself.

Sometimes you’re able to put on your softest skin again. Sometimes you just can’t. And that’s okay too. It’s okay if you’re something different than you were before your heartache. Healing is about what’s right for you.

Healing is all about you.

Allow yourself to cry, to curse, to scream. Allow yourself to doubt life and doubt love until you find yourself and are able to see through your eyes again.

Let yourself fall apart. Let yourself hurt. You’ll never heal if you don’t. You’ll never heal and pick up the pieces if you’ve buried them too deep to reach.

Don’t rush it. There is no statute of limitations on healing or on pain. But don’t let yourself become consumed dwelling on your ache.

Remember the things that live outside of your skin. Dig through the ruins and the darkness until you find something that reminds you of beauty again. Appreciate it. Immerse yourself in it. The rain, the wind, the leaves, the city lights, music, poetry, whatever it is.

Treat yourself like you’re alive.

Healing is about reaching a point where you feel whole, while accepting that none of us ever really are.

Healing is about having embraced your pain.

Healing is having scars and looking at them everyday and still being able to live your best life. Wear them with pride. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Houston-based writer and artist.

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