Of course I’m going to talk about writing and how this applies, but I’m also going to point out the life lesson as well. How many of us have held on to just about everything we felt we needed growing up? How about when we lose something, or someone? We hold onto things, moments, places in time, and even people because to lose them is a scary proposition. It seems to mean that we might forget those ideas, things, and people if they’re not around all the time.
But the truth is that they are. They don’t disappear when you let go of them. They don’t just up and fade away. They’re an imprint on your heart, your soul, and your mind. Those things and people you cherish won’t just go away. They’ll always mean something to you and so therefore they’ll always be there.
In writing and in life we have to learn how to let go and move forward, because that’s how life is lived, and that’s how the story progresses. We don’t ponder or worry over what might have been done differently in life largely because at this point we can’t change it. Even if we can or could, it’s not the best idea because in a way it would rewrite history, and the ramifications for such a thing are huge.
You’re stronger when you let go, as holding on only makes you weaker.
The more you cling to the past, the weaker you’ll become when it comes time to face the present and the future. You won’t have the skills, the experience, or the type of learning you need to continue the story, nor will you have the strength to face what is still to come. The story has to go on, but it can’t if you’re stuck in the first chapter trying to figure out what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and what you could have possibly done, said, or even helped to influence that might have made a difference.
By moving forward you continually push your limits, you gain strength by continually stretching the landscape of the story to fit your life, and by not allowing the past to take over what could become an interesting and very fulfilling tale.
It’s in our nature to fight, but it’s also in our nature to move forward.
Think of it this way, if we didn’t tell new stories and only lived on the old and dated tales, what would our society look like? What would this world be like if we only focused on the past and didn’t move forward? Conventional wisdom tells us to move on and let go, to keep pushing forward. But we have to let go of even that from time to time and do something really hard, something that’s almost sacrilegious to some.
We have to forget so that we can remember what it’s like to move forward.