Why You Must Learn to Forgive and Move On

Why You Must Learn to Forgive and Move On

Last update: 29 October, 2018

When someone hurts you, you’ve probably asked yourself “Why should I forgive them?” You’ve probably also understood that forgiving is not an easy task and you’ve maybe even confused forgiving with forgetting. The truth is that, when something or someone hurts us, letting it go isn’t easy.

Forgetting is a memory process that depends almost entirely and exclusively on the time and context you’re in. Forgetting is what you do when you stop resorting to certain information stored in your brainwhereas forgiving is remembering and not getting stuck in the emotions that arise from that memory.

There aren’t many tips to help us forget something, because doing so comes only with the passing of time. In fact, it’s easier to forget the things we don’t stay in contact with. For example, if we stay away from a certain place, we can avoid seeing the person of the thing that harmed us. Therefore, it’ll be easier to forget. That’s why, in order to forget, we must step away and be patient.

However, forgiving is something quite different. Doing so means that we remember what happened and the pain we felt, but we’re still able to move on. It means that we stop thinking about revenge or how unfair everything was and learn to remember those past emotions without letting them affect our present or future.

Have you ever thought about this difference between forgiving and forgetting? Being aware that these two words don’t mean the same thing is essential when it comes to trying to move on. Why? Because you’ll never forget who hurt you and you’ll never forget the pain, but you can learn to live with it if you know how to leave it all behind.

A lost woman and a tree.

Why is it essential to learn to forgive?

Moving on helps us break our bond with pain. It’s about leaving pain behind and letting the flames of your rage and your thirst for revenge slowly fade away. This way, you can start a new stage of your life.

Furthermore, forgiving will make you the owner of your own time and energy. When a person has unresolved issues, although they may not realize it, their mind spends too much time and energy trying to sort out those ‘pending tasks’. Having to forgive someone makes your psychological resources focus on that and, as a consequence, you can get emotionally drained.

Sorting out your issues will also help you feel more confident and in peace with yourself. It will encourage you to move forward and visualize the future without any negative emotional burden. A person who forgives empties their emotional baggage and is motivated to face the challenges of the future. They feel the internal peace necessary to live a fulfilling life.

Forgiving: A way to be in charge of your own happiness

It’s important to reflect on one aspect about forgiving that not many people take into account. When you forgive, you’re doing it for yourself and not for the person who hurt you. Doing it is not a gift you give to the person who made you suffer, but it’s instead a gift you give yourself. If you forgive, you’re benefiting yourself first. You allow yourself to accept the hurt and the pain and then let them go.

Forgiving is a fundamental step to being your own guide and leader. Actually, you might even have to forgive yourself. In order to be the leader of your life, you have to forgive your mistakes, your failures, your weaknesses, your regrets, and the harm you’ve caused yourself.

A hand holding a heart.

You only achieve self-fulfillment through forgiveness and reconciliation with yourself. Once you do, you focus your energy on creating a better version of yourself. When you forgive, you have the power to decide what affects you and what doesn’t, what keeps you from moving on, and what helps you forget. As a result, everything flows and you can focus on yourself.

Forgiving isn’t an easy task, but it’s not impossible. In fact, there are many psychotherapy exercises that can help you learn to forgive. The first step to forgiving is focusing on the present and owning your own emotions. You can do it, just be patient!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • María Martina Casullo. (2005). La capacidad para perdonar desde una perspectiva psicológica. Revista de Psicologia de La PUCP.
  • Fincham, F. D., Hall, J. H., Beach, S. R. H., & Casullo, M. M. (2002). Las razones para perdonar. Concepciones populares o teorías implícitas. Psicodebate 7. Psicología, Cultura y Sociedad. http://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6811.00016
  • Hernandez, G. (2016). La Importancia del Perdon. CRZion Publishers.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.