“Just move on, forget about it, get over it.”- we’ve all heard these words from someone and sometimes that someone even has good intentions. The trouble is, regardless of good intentions, it’s hurtful and invalidating to someone who has gone through a hard life experience. Moving on from an event that has impacted, altered, or changed us can often feel like an impossible task. To some, moving on can feel like we are forgetting, forgetting an experience, or forgetting a loved one we always wanted to remember. Also, maybe we don’t to forget- maybe it feels good to remember the person or experience no matter how hurtful it feels.
The good news is, we can move forward with healing, time, counseling, and more without having to move on and forget. Moving forward suggests that we remember our past, integrate it into our present, feel at peace with the way our past informs our present, and can ultimately talk or think about our past in a way that feels safe to us. Moving ON suggests that we are turning our past OFF, but we don’t have to. Ultimately, our emotions need to be felt and dealt with in order to move forward. While this is counterintuitive to what we often hear from others, remember the power of your words when someone you love is going through a hard time.