I have a terrible habit of ruminating. It is something I try to let go of but the habit has been embedded in my mind for years and it is hard to break. The past few months have been… an experience. Random nights I stumble upon an email from an ex-boyfriend, an old message from a friend, sometimes I look through my journal and I am reminded of so many experiences, conversations, arguments, what have you. Did I “forget” these memories? Technically I guess I did, but being reminded of them still brings back so many emotions I thought I had left in the past.
Do we ever really let go? By this point in our lives we have all learned that the fun little phrase, “forgive and forget” is basically a lie. To quote countless movies, books, and reality TV shows, “you can forgive but you never forget”. The entire notion is sort of silly to me. When you have been hurt by someone else you can usually find it in your heart to forgive the other person. I always try to remind myself that we are all human, extremely flawed and therefore make many mistakes. We ask and tend to even expect forgiveness from others, but what does the entire idea of forgiveness really mean?
When someone else causes you pain you go through a whirlwind of emotions that usually ends with a bottle of wine, copious amounts of snacks, and a bitch session with friends (at least that’s what I do…). After the initial sting has worn off we begin to assess the situation more rationally and are able to somewhat put aside our emotions in order to come to the conclusion of whether or not to give this person another chance. I have definitely been hurt before, as we all have, and in every instance (except one) I have been able to forgive the other person, mainly because I would want the second chance if I were them. However, in these past few months I have realized that the emotion dulls with time but it never really goes away. When you are reminded of an argument you had with your best friend where they threw things out there that were below the belt you rationalize and say, “well they were angry and probably didn’t mean it”. Part of the time this is true. Unfortunately, I have realized that I am able to move on with the other person after some serious drag out fights, but when I remember what was said I realize that I haven’t let it go.
This entire idea of “letting it go” seems unrealistic and also seems to simplify the complexity of our emotions and relationships. I think we have all established at this point that you don’t forget. Are we even capable of letting go? When the words still stab you months, even years later have you let it go? Or are you temporarily pulled back into that situation and the emotions in that time? You tend to wonder “do they really think that about me?”. Will we ever know the truth? Maybe. Maybe not. I guess we all have to decide what we can and cannot truthfully handle and realize that sometimes just because the fight is over and you’ve kissed and made up, you can’t always move forward.