Lim: Move on or move forward

Melanie Lim.
Melanie Lim.File photo

I haven’t moved on.

If you love, love well and love deeply, it takes time to move on. Still, every person moves on at a different pace. While some can cut cleanly and move on quickly, others move at snail’s pace to come down from the clouds and walk again on Earth’s roads.

Grief, they say, is the price we pay for love. And there is no timetable for the grieving process.

You cannot rush it. You cannot ignore it. You cannot run away from it. You have to confront it head on—acknowledge it, accept it and understand you have to go through it to be able to move on.

But what does “moving on” mean? I suppose it means different things to different people.

For me, moving on means putting away all the chapters I spent with you into a file I choose no longer to look into again. For while they will always be a part of my past—they are no longer of great consequence.

As such, I now choose to leave them behind with neither rancor nor regret.

Some people figure in our life stories—even becoming major characters at some point in our lives. But storylines change through time. Secret plots can be uncovered. Villains can be exposed. Some current characters must die (literally or figuratively) as some new characters must enter our lives.

Life is not static. Storylines shift all the time.

Every morning we wake up is a chance to write a new chapter, a new character, a new storyline—if we so choose to find the courage to do it.

We can choose for whom to hold space in the present and for whom we must save space in the future. Some people we truly need to leave behind—in the past—where they belong. From some people, we truly need to move on.

You can choose to write new chapters in your life. You can choose to move on.

And moving on means leaving behind the chapters and characters in your life that caused you great pain. It means disempowering the tormentors, the villains and the demons. It means putting down the emotional baggage you’ve been carrying for so long.

But you don’t have to move on from everyone in your life. You don’t have to move all the past chapters of your life into the recycle bin because you don’t want your entire history to be deleted as time goes on.

In fact, some chapters and characters in our lives we want to keep. If we could back them up, we would. Because we want to keep them forever.

Some moments we want to relive. Some people we want to love. Again. And better.

I lost my mother five years ago. But to this day, she is with me. Still. Because I choose to carry her in my heart, every day. Because I choose not to forget her. Because instead of choosing to move on without her, I choose to move forward with her.

Because I choose to love her. Forever.

When we move on, we choose to leave the past behind us. When we move forward, we choose to bring the past with us.

With the people we love, we must move forward.


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