The importance of just moving on
Is closure and forgiveness really always necessary to let go of something, or someone? Can't we just move on from toxic situations without it?
For years we've been taught that we always need to forgive before we move on. That we always need closure before we let go. That we always need to forgive and forget to heal from trauma. And thus, all my life I've struggled with letting go of hurtful, traumatizing people, relationships, situations, events because I could neither forgive people nor forget what I had to go through, nor get closure.
Yes, forgiveness is important and I do believe in forgiveness. But I've come to realize that forgiveness is only ever important when it comes to people who matter to you. People who've enriched your life, and made it better at some point. And that includes yourself, too.
But if something is toxic, and has only ever been toxic, and continues to be toxic, what do you do?
Imagine there's a family member or a friend who does nothing but disrespect you. Someone who only reaches out when they want favors from you, and then disappears off the face of the earth only to resurface when they want something done. Someone who always criticizes you, not constructively. Someone who always finds faults with the way do things and the way you live your life and the decisions you make.
Toxic people do not deserve forgiveness in my personal opinion. And they probably won't accept that they've done wrong even if you confront them - so you won't get any closure even if you try.
And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it's not easy to forget terrible things people may have done to you.
And constantly dwelling on all this forgive and forget dilemma is not good for your mental health.
I recently listened to a CBS interview with Taylor Swift, and she addresses this in a very grown-up way.
“People go on and on about how you have to forgive and forget to move past something. No you don't. You don't have to forgive and you don't have to forget to move on. You could move on without any of those things happening. You just become indifferent, and then you move on. - Taylor Swift -"
You don't need to forgive and forget to let go of people or things that have a negative impact on your well-being. You don't need closure to remove yourself from a toxic relationship.
Just move on. It's fine.