Forgetting and moving forward

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Some weeks ago I talked about how you can use your haters to improve your life. On an upcoming post we’ll talk about how we can stop ourselves from becoming haters ourselves, but this week’s post will be dedicated to one way we can move forward from the grievances that we’ve experienced: forgetting.

It goes without saying that nobody goes through life without collecting a few scars along the way, and, although some of those scars come from our own mistakes, we can always thank others for giving us some of them. From my experience, although there are infinite possibilities as to how we deal with those who have hurt us, the reality is that we tend to stick to a few different methods: getting even (or going even further to teach them a lesson), pretending that no harm has been done, actually solving the situation, or finding some means of reparation if no solution can be found. Eventually, however, most of those solutions (with evasion sticking out as a real non-solution) lead to the same outcome: calling it even and forgetting what happened so that we can move forward with our lives.

The fact that different paths lead to the same outcome should tell us something, as we humans tend to do act with an end goal, rather than a whole process, in mind. Perhaps there we can learn a way of accelerating our healing so that we look back at our grievances more like incoveniences.

Why getting even doesn’t work

The key question that we’re dealing with is “does this action solve the problem?”, and rarely does getting even work out as a solution. Despite how good it may make us feel, meeting force with force doesn’t work unless it makes our opponent stand down and admit their wrong doing, or we destroy them (but that’s a different issue altogether). Consider how often this method fails in real life, as one side escalates and the other does it too until the situation spirals out of control or both sides are forced to some sort of enténte that allows them to save face. Clearly, this isn’t a reliable method so even though we should become familiar with its use, we shouldn’t come to depend on it.

Evasion doesn’t work either

Duh! Again, evasion doesnt solve the problem, so how is it a viable solution? Chances are Evasion makes things worse by

  • Not working on solving the problem.
  • Allowing things to get worse and new problems to arise from the previous one.
  • Making us used to giving up on our responsibilities and agency.

Besides intentionally taking an adversarial position and escalating things with the intent of bringing about real conflict, evasion is the worst course of action we can take.

Accepting / Solving / Forgetting

A three-in-one combo, and one in which its elements and their order is not happenstance. I think this is the best possible solution, as we’re able to appreciate and understand the situation we face, try and solve it, and then let it pass into the “stuff not worth holding on to” section of our mind.

In my view, the accepting part is the most important one because through it we can create the most appropriate course of action to solve the problem we face. In fact, evading our problems skips accepting them altogether, and trying to get even probably means that we didn’t properly assess the situation, and we took what appeared the easiest way out.

When it comes to actually solving the problem, if we did the accepting properly, then we are left to carry out some series of actions that we’ve already thought out. At this stage all that matters is getting stuff done, evaluating the results, and following through or stop once the issue is resolved.

Finally comes the time to forget. Once the problem is solved, it makes no sense to keep focusing on it, to keep letting it hurt us. It may be important to keep some sort of record as to what happened and our course of action, but we no longer need to worry about the situation. The moment we can put that bad experience behind us and truly not let it bother us, we can rest assured that it truly is in our past.

I would like you to consider how often you’ve gone through this process: getting a bad grade at school, the end of your first real relationship, losing a job, the usual wear and tear of everyday interaction, or any other situation from your past. Hopefully this post has motivated you to consider how you’ve move on from your own past bad experiences and what you can learn from that for what may come.

In closing

I know that some of the posts I’ve lately written in this section of the blog have rather trivial and with very simple suggestions. It is somewhat impossible to separate one activity we engage in from the rest of things we do, and in the last month or so I’ve tried to help younger family members with a couple of curve balls life has thrown at them. My writing is only a reflection of that. My view is that the simple methods and activities are the ones that help us stay sane and happy in this chaotic world, so hopefully this post reaches someone that needs the help.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s post, see you next week!