The Long Road of Forgetting.

“But the thing about remembering is that you don’t forget.”

– Tim O’Brien

The long road to forgetting is often very painful. I know this road well and it is the reason that I haven’t written much lately. It’s sometimes feels like I am stuck within the incoming and outgoing tides. I am trending water for many people. Life has a way of circling back on us. We forget things that we try to remember, and we remember things that we’d rather forget.

When we talk about our relationships forgetting is almost a moot point. For if you have loved someone and created memories with them, then how can you ever forget them? There are many examples of why you would want to though. Our minds block out some of the traumas that we encounter in life, but not all, and not always forever.

Memories are like snowstorms. They so often begin to appear like snowflakes…so soft and lofty. Then without a moments notice, a barrage of them hit and block your vision.The road ahead once clear and open is suddenly blocked. You are caught up in the whirlwind of the storm. The memories swirling all about. One memory triggers the next and before you realize it you are swept up. The past has once again become your present…at least for the moment.

“Love is so short forgetting so long.”

– Pablo Neruda

It’s a fine line to walk some days. I want to pull from my past so that I can help others.I want my experiences to mean something. To show others that they too can move on. I am sick of so many of my memories though. They are heavy and laden with pain. I have learned and I understand my past, but who really wants to revisit them? I have so much to say, but it comes at a price.

You can journey down the long road of forgetting. You can create new memories that will overshadow the past ones that you so desperately want to leave behind. They key is that you have to want to. Often times our memories are like heavy cloaks. They can be divisive and trick you into thinking that there is a false sense of comfort there within your history.

I don’t like to remember most of it, but there are shining happy moments within the mix that beg to be remembered. How do we sift through it all? How do we pick and choose what to remember and what to leave behind. This is a fine dance, for you cannot forget the bad and remember only the good. That does not serve you.

The word forgiveness comes into play here. Let me make something clear, forgetting and forgiveness do not go hand in hand. You can forgive and let go, but the reality is that the memories are still there. Forgive but not forget…we know that saying well because it is the truth. Simple human conditioning. If only we had access to our control panels.

“Without forgetting it is quite impossible to live at all.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

In the end it is living forward through your life that will give you the distance that you need. As you move forward your past will get smaller in your rear view mirror. Thank God for perspective. I believe that we must remember it all, as much as we may distaste it, for it prevents us from ever falling back down the same dark hole. It is the medicine which our soul requires to grow. The lessons learned have become our memories and in that we should find some grace.

There is no easy answer here. As humans we must constantly battle our own minds for there is no way out. I call it the long road to forgetting because it truly can feel like it goes on forever. The good news is that it doesn’t. In time it all sifts out and the landscape of your journey will appear brighter. As you learn to replace the negative thoughts for positive ones you will slowly recognize the new reality that you choose for your life.    xo Ella

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4 thoughts on “The Long Road of Forgetting.

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