Move On and Remember

Kristina Ralston
3 min readJun 15, 2020

Moving on is not about forgetting, is not about denying the memory. Moving on is about having gratitude for what has impacted your heart {your life} without forcing yourself to dismiss your experience or vilify it. Moving on is about folding the memory into yourself — letting it remind you that you fought for something, that you tried, that you felt.

Moving on often means doing our best to forget something that was highly impactful to us. A relationship, a job, a home, a community we were a part of…something was loved and then lost, and we are left trying to figure out who we are now as we grapple with the effects of a swift exit from our lives.

It takes an insane amount of effort to edit out our deepest experiences, so another tactic we try is to downplay the effects they had on us. We tell ourselves, “it didn’t matter that much anyway. I didn’t try my hardest, didn’t love my best, didn’t show up like I could’ve.” Mostly lies, of course, but it’s what we tell ourselves to gain distance from the raw edges that have been so unceremoniously exposed. We want to stop the bleeding so we throw a box of Wonderwoman bandaids at the mess and walk away, willing ourselves, cruel with ourselves, not to look back, as a single, hot tear sneaks its way down our clammy cheek.

What if, instead of dismissing or denying those things we need to move on from because of timing or circumstances, we acknowledged their importance, as many times as we needed? And — when ready — gave them the most loving of embraces and set them to the side of the road so they are out of harm’s way, yet not an obstacle to us on our journey forward. We are better for them being in our lives, yet know they are not to accompany us further on our life’s adventure. That’s OK. They still meant something important to us, even if they’re no longer in our lives. And things…change.

By taking this respectful, mindful, and embodied action, we choose to preserve the memories and honor the impact of what those people and circumstances showed us about ourselves. They brought us rich insight, courage we didn’t know we had, and formidable strength to press onward. To keep exploring, growing, learning, and loving. We don’t have to pretend it didn’t happen because it did. And we are so infinitely grateful.

Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to move on because of the huge sacrifice we demand of ourselves. To negate large swarths of our inner landscape so as not to remember how hard it was to say goodbye. Saying goodbye sucks, especially when you’re not ready to, but adding an emotional lobotomy to the mix doesn’t help at all.

So we move on…and remember. We remind ourselves, as much as we need to, that those people, those things showed that we fought for something, that we tried, that we felt. It may not have worked out as we would have liked, but it did all work out in some mysterious way. And we don’t have to force ourselves to forget, but can let it all serve as a tender reminder of something real, something felt, something undeniably alive in our souls. And we are so infinitely grateful.

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Kristina Ralston

Change strategist and leadership coach. Let’s change the conversation around change, together. Find out how at: empactchangeconsulting.com