This year proved to be extremely challenging at times, not only for me, but for too many friends I adore. Now my Facebook timeline is inundated with posts calling to forget the bad times and the past. Although I am not judging those who chose to post those messages, I have to disagree. Remembering the past is not the same as getting stuck in it.
I understand the need to leave behind the negative and focus on the positive. It’s healthy, even. The problem is when you miss the opportunity of learning from your past. If you look back without failing to move forward, there is so much to gain. You learn what mistakes not to make again. You learn how resilient you can be. You realize who your true friends are and that as long as you have yourself, you have what you need to make it through the darkest of times.
If you have been through an extremely painful episode in your life, you cannot heal until you face your wounds and take care of them. Forgetting about them will not make them go away. I have found that this requires a lot of courage, tears and strength, but it is worth it. It truly allows you to move forward.
As we get ready to welcome 2014, find a way to understand that everything that has happened to you has made you the person you are today. Accept you cannot change your past but don’t forget the lessons it gave you. For in those lessons you might find the answers to ensure that after surviving the pain and hardships, you realize how you can begin truly living a new chapter in your life.
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