Think of a time recently, because I bet there’s been one, where you have had to face ‘moving on’.
This phrase is so personal to each unique situation it is relating to and it can also be incredibly difficult to achieve. It is, however, so vitally important that we do achieve it: for us, for the people around us and depending on the situation, for the other people who are affected by our ability to do so.
If you are unable to move on, then you are holding on. What you are trying to hold on to may be hugely important to you, but holding on is so often holding you back. Of course, some things are good to hold on to, such as memories, but at some point it is important to face the concept of moving on.
Last week I read a letter in the Times to an agony aunt. It was from a man who had lost his wife to cancer and was struggling emotionally with the thought of starting another relationship. When we read stories like this one, we are all able to understand his dilemma and whilst we sympathise with his difficulty, we would most certainly all be advising him to move on.
When someone feels that they have been wronged in some way, they will often find it particularly hard to move on. Whilst this is understandable, the person who is most affected by this inability, is the person themselves. Bitterness eats away at them and turns them into someone who people may at one time may have sympathised with, but who start to feel frustrated with the person’s resoluteness not to let go of the past. This can be the case in a divorce, where one partner had an affair. Hanging on to hatred for that person is simply stopping them from building a positive and happy life and where children are involved it merely serves to make their lives unnecessarily harder. When moving on requires forgiveness, it can feel incredibly difficult to let go, but ultimately a huge relief from a damaging burden.
I think it’s important to remember that moving on doesn’t necessarily require you to forget, but to release yourself from the chains of the past. The past is gone and holding on to it prevents us from building a positive future.
It can hurt to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on.