I think everyone has times in their life they wish they could forget. Or that they’d never happened. I have a big portion of my life that I am trying to move on from.
I don’t think ignoring that these things happened is helpful. After all, nothing can change the past. But there comes a point, when you have processed what happened, accepted it, and moved on, and you don’t want to be thinking about the crappy things.
I have realised that I am the kind of person that heavily edits my own life. I get rid of possessions that remind me of a bad time, like a dress I wore to a funeral, or a present from someone no longer in my life, or deleting photos from my computer. I find that this helps me stay focused on the present. Objects have such strong memories attached to them, and by getting rid of the object, I have alleviated some of my emotional anguish.
I have even taken down some of the posts on this blog, once again, editing the bad parts of my life out.
The flip side to this is that I have a very good memory, and I want to remember my life in as much detail as possible. I keep a notebook with tickets and scraps from all the cool stuff I have done, and I love looking back on it. I have kept all my old diaries, and notes and drawings that my friends gave me at school. I love having tangible things that document my life.
One of the things I have done to move on from this bad thing doesn’t involve completely removing it from my life. I have made some blog posts private, so they are there, but not when I look back over my main blog website.
Another things I have done is physically making some things private. I’ll explain what I mean by that. There are some parts of my teenage diaries that I cannot read, I know I am lying even in my diary and the cognitive dissonance is simply too much. But I didn’t want to throw away. So, I taped them shut. I physically made it so I can’t read them (unless I have a complete meltdown and rip them open like a bear). They are still in my box of sentimental items; they are there, and I can acknowledge them, but I can’t relive them.
I think this relates well to that mental image I have seen a lot, of packing things into boxes in your mind, having them there if you want to look at them, but not letting the take over your thoughts. And this balance, I believe is best. I don’t think it’s healthy to ignore the bad things that have happened to us. Accept them, process them, and acknowledge them if you need to. The rest of the time should be sent on things that make us happy.