Forget about it

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Remember to forget

I’ve just recently realised that I have had a certain special ability that I’ve never really thought about until now.

It’s an interesting ability that almost anyone could benefit from. When life gets tough it pays to have this kind of a gift. I bet you’re wondering what it is, aren’t you? Well! Well, um, this is awkward. I got so carried away with talking up this skill that I completely forgot what it was!

But wait, that’s it! That’s the thing I’m talking about – the ability to forget.

It’s hard sometimes. The older you get the more memories you accumulate, and sometimes in your most vulnerable moments, you only seem to remember the very worst ones.

That’s when it really pays to forget. Holding a grudge against someone only hurts you. Learn the lesson from it, but don’t nurse the memory. Some people say they will forgive but not forget. Well there is a danger in this because sometimes it’s a lot harder to forgive if you just cannot forget.

And let’s be serious here for a minute. How long have you been holding on to the past for? Well however long it’s been, that person is now that much older, and you are too. You are both probably different people. The person you’re bearing a grudge against, for all intents and purposes doesn’t exist anymore. They have probably learnt from their past mistakes and have moved on, and you could learn a valuable lesson from that.

Besides, we all make mistakes. If someone held us accountable for our past mistakes which we cannot fix, and we held them responsible for their past mistakes against us, and neither of us can fix them, then we have reached an impasse. A stalemate. That’s when it’s time to stop playing the game and start over. Forget the last game, it’s unwinnable, it’s over.

I have a terrible short term memory, and I just cannot remember names, places, dates etc. I remember people, not names, landmarks, not addresses, and events not dates. The interesting thing about this is that I have to put in a lot of effort if I do want to remember some of these details. That means I can, in a sense, purposefully forget something by not trying to remember it. That’s exactly what I’ve realised has been a really good asset in my life. It comes naturally to me, but I have to put a bit of extra effort in in order to apply it to other areas.

I’ve recently re-read through some of my journals from a long time ago, and there were a few things that happened to me that I could not find a way to get over. When I read about it, I realised I had totally forgotten about it, and if not for this written reminder I’d have never remembered it again. That’s because I managed to grow as a person enough so that it no longer mattered to me. Thus I was able to loosen my grip on it and… forget.

I think there is a certain amount of wisdom in this idea. That if we hold on to the past too long we are limiting our potential to fully enjoy our new memories. So by forgetting, we are freeing ourselves up to actually be happy, and isn’t that what everyone really wants in life?

Numerous studies have shown that holding on to the past can have a myriad of health implications such as muscle pain, a weakened immune system and higher blood pressure. These days we have more than enough reasons to be stressed out, there’s no sense in adding to that list. So forget about it, live your life, be happy.

A little amnesia in your life might help improve it. Just make sure you remember this principle, and you’ll be on the mend in no time.

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