How can teenagers forgive and forget?

Happy girl in yellow top waving

How can teenagers forgive and forget?

In last week’s blog we talked about making a commitment to building small habits into your daily routine that work towards achieving a bigger goal – how did you do?

I did pretty well. I looked at what hobbies I could participate in that would give me some valuable rest time away from my work commitments. My goal was to organise 20 new adventures over the coming year. The outcome so far is two theatre shows booked and a long weekend to explore the wonders of Pompei. How exciting!


What would you change if you knew how long you had to live?

This is quite a raw question but it’s also a valid one, so let me explain…

It was the activity of researching the Pompei trip that got me thinking about the topic for this blog.

If you aren’t aware of the history of the Italian city of Pompei, please spend a few minutes reading about the catastrophe that took place. In a nutshell, the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD and the volcanic ash from the lava showered down on the people of Pompei so quickly that life at that time was preserved forever. Everything about their time was captured in a moment and, as a visitor, you can still see how it was 2,000 years ago – isn’t that worth a visit?

The point here is that if the people of Pompei knew their fate, do you think they would have made any changes? If you knew, would you choose to be happy or sad? Would you spend time alone or with those you love? Would you make amends in anyway? 


Stop wasting valuable time

Think about this. You have absolutely no idea about how long you will be here for. With that in mind, do you want to spend your time doing meaningless stuff? 

How much time is wasted feeling bad about the small stuff, comparing yourself to others even though you are unique so there’s no comparison?  How often do you beat yourself up over something that hasn’t gone quite right but that is out of your control? And when was the last time you complained about being bored? Really? How can you possibly be bored when there’s so much to do and see in your life?


What does that have to do with how can teenagers forgive and forget?

So many people would live their life differently if they knew what would happen. Petty quarrels, anger, hurt, resentment, disappointment and bitterness towards someone or something that has happened. 

In order to be free of these negative emotions, you have to be able to forgive. Life is for living and it’s not worth spending time and energy on feeling down or annoyed, or even anxious and depressed. 

Forgiveness is about being human. Living the best life you can by feeling happy inside every day comes from your emotions, beliefs and actions. I see many people in my line of work who are eaten up about someone or something, or an incident that’s happened in the past. This experience has moved into their head and is taking up way too much space, causing toxic negative thoughts every day. These negative feelings are irritating and make people feel horrible inside. 

If these negative feelings aren’t let go of, they will show up as a ‘dis-ease’ and eventually a disease, such as aches and pains or worse. No amount of holding onto these feelings will change the experience because it’s in the past. The people you believe hurt you will never feel your pain. The only person feeling the pain and hurting is you, so it makes no sense as to why you would you do that to yourself. You are far too amazing to be pulled down by something you can’t change.


Forgive, learn and let go

Forgiveness is not about ignoring the actions of others. And it’s not about forgetting either. Forgiveness doesn’t make a situation or a person right or OK, but it does help you to accept that it has happened and that you can’t change it. 

You will need to remember what took place in order to change what it means to you, and to change the future outcome of anything that may happen again. 

I have a belief that everything happens to us for a positive reason. If something happens to you that isn’t great at the time, it will start to get better as you gain the separation of time to look back and have the hindsight or ‘kind-sight’ to reflect on what took place.

Girl in striped top with hand over chest

When you have the chance to look back, eventually you will realise that you wouldn’t have been able to do this or that or met this person and had this opportunity in your life. If challenges didn’t happen you would never learn from them and you would never grow as a person. 

No matter what happens in life, you don’t need to forgive and forget, you just need to forgive and learn. Revenge will only feel good in the moment and it will always have negative consequences. While you are resenting others you are not loving yourself and that’s only having a negative impact on you.

Take positive learning from a conflicting situation and be the better person. Let it have an impact on you for the better. Let go of the bad stuff and reel in the good stuff.

Acting this way will also have a positive impact on those around you. It can make you wiser, more compassionate, a better son or daughter, a model student or team member of the month. 

Forgive, learn and let go of toxic thoughts occupying the space in your head and heart. Instead, be amazing and go and inspire others.

Time is precious and you will never get that time back or replace it.


Live life like you ‘mean it’ versus being ‘mean’ in it

Each day is a like a new blank page in a book and it’s you in charge of the pen that writes the story. Stop rewriting the past in future pages – it’s like receiving the punishment of writing lines for being naughty at school. Did you ever have to do this? 

Find the gift in the past and let go of the pains. Forgiveness is not about you forgiving another person for doing wrong. It’s a myth. Forgiveness is about you and giving you a new start. Free yourself from the toxic energy of hate, bitterness and anger. Take that time and energy and instead, invest the valuable precious time into something that brings you joy, makes you smile, makes you feel better. 

Forgiveness is not about being selfish or giving away your power, it’s about being strong, selfless, and acting for you and your best interests by taking back your power. 


Choose the life you want to lead

If any of this blog resonates and you feel as though you need support to work through a situation where you are holding onto negative emotions, please do get in touch with me by email.

If you’ve been through a situation and have learnt to forgive and forget please share your experiences with our community on social media.

If you have enjoyed this blog, I recommend the book ‘Left to Tell’ by Immaculee Ilibabzia. You can find it on Amazon here, or pop to your local library. It’s an inspiring story where Immaculee found the meaning of unconditional love and forgiveness. 

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