Felicia Soleil's 5 Philosophies For Moving on After Divorce: #2 Forget

Throughout the past twenty-five years of serving those amid dissolution of their marriages, there runs a common theme in our discussions:  Forgive and forget.  Of course they go together, hand-in-hand.  And the older we get, the notion of forgetting shouldn’t be too difficult, especially for us middle-agers, yes?

You only have TODAY, and you only hope that you have tomorrow.  The past is done and gone. True, fond memories can take you to your “happy place.”  Yet, beating yourself up (or someone else) with bitter or painful memories is another.  I will inevitably ask my clients, “How does that serve you?”

Once forgiven, whether another person or yourself, you serve no one by continuing to dredge up the indiscretion in your own thoughts.  In other words, it doesn’t work if you say to the one hand, “Aha!  I have forgiven,” But then to the other hand, you say:  “BUT I am going to wear my forgiveness like a badge.”  If you feel this way, you are not yet free from ill will about the offense.   It is not a privilege to hold a grudge.  It is not a right to treat the offender less than kindly, etc.  To forgive and forget go hand-n-hand, remember? 

Now, I am not discounting good therapy for sorting through significant issues from the past that require a healthy exploration and time for introspection.  In fact, I recommend the process of gaining new perspectives and better understanding, because that is usually work done on the way to forgiveness.  I am talking about the time once forgiveness is granted.  Forgive ……then allow yourself to forget.  

Your internal recording device:  Hit the erase button, not the pause button. Remove physical reminders if you have to, including ALL that tend to jar your memory about the topic or person involved. And be adamant about your boundaries with others by refusing to engage in further conversation about the subject. You have much richer moments ahead as a natural outcome of those twin powers, hand-in-hand, to forgive and forget. 

Two questions, taken in threes: I’ve often counseled my clients to address these issues in sets of three.  Ask yourself, “What are the three most oppressive indiscretions by others against me that I can forgive and release?” Followed by, “What are three indiscretions I have caused others or myself that weigh most heavily on my mind?”

Forgive…...and forget.

These moments do not define you, so how does it serve you to hold them in your memory bank?  We all have so many valuable memories that better deserve our focus, and hopefully many more life-affirming memories to create. Choose what uplifts you and forget all the rest.

What are you holding onto?  If you are ready to move on, not just merely move out, I can help.  Together we can reduce and resolve the conflict of your marriage dissolution.

Published on August 8, 2018