People go through ups and downs all the time. On the journey of life, we meet a mix of travelers. It is unlikely that we will only meet a certain type or only those we like or dislike. After all, it is not a one-way road. At any time, the traffic flows both in and against our direction. Sometimes some people or events can hurt you so bad that you just want to erase them from your memory. You have even forgiven them, you want to move on but you find yourself unable to do so. Take it easy. It’s only human.
There are generally two possibilities that make you remember anyone: either you love that person or you hate that person. And there are only three reasons that make you want to forget somebody. One, the thought of them makes negative emotions well up in you and throws you off-balance. Two, you still love them deeply but they have moved on. Three, despite your love, they don’t love you back. In any case, it hurts.
If the memory of them doesn’t trigger any positive or negative emotion in you, there would be no need to forget that person. In fact, if you neither love nor hate the person you are trying to forget, you will forget them automatically. When their memory sparks neither good nor bad in you, it means you have moved on. But what to do when you do want to forget them? Read on.
If you find yourself thinking about that person, hold a mini self-dialog as the first step. Accept that you are missing them and that you are hurt. Talk to yourself. Repeat it a few times and watch your mind release the thought of that person. Releasing their memory is crucial if you want to forget them. A while back, I wrote an article on how to take your mind off unwanted thoughts during your meditation. You can read it here. Apply the same principle.
Give yourself time and each time the thought of them arises, simply and gently focus your mind elsewhere. Promise yourself that anytime you are reminded of them, you will not let that ruin your peace. And the way to protect your peace is to shift your focus. This is the most powerful method I know of.
When the one you love leaves you, it creates a void in your life, a hole in your heart. You keep falling into that pit. You need to fill that gaping hole somehow. It is not easy but it can be done. When their memories come knocking at the door of your heart, shift your attention. If you can divert your thoughts at that time, gradually the imprints will become lighter, the intensity of their memories will start to diminish.
Two kids found a pouch containing fifteen silver coins. One had spotted it and the other had picked it up. Each claimed ownership of the find. This led to an argument and ultimately they approached the wise Mulla Nasruddin with their quandary.
“Hmmm…so you want me to resolve the matter?”
“Yes, please,” both said in unison.
“Alright, I’ll divide the coins between you two. But tell me, do you want me to do justice like a human or God?”
“Please do as God would.”
He counted the coins and gave twelve to one and three to the other. While they both stood there bewildered, said Mulla plainly, “That’s how He operates.”
Life can be unfair. When trying to forget someone, avoid any intellectual analysis like why it happened to you or how could they do this to you etc.. If you start to dissect, you will only sink in deeper. Any cogitation will only depress you more, it will drag you back to the field of memories — and that’s exactly what we want to avoid here. Trust me on this one. Simply take your mind off them.
Both love and hate fetter you. You cannot forget anyone by continuing to love or hate them. If you want to forget them, you must become indifferent towards them. You become indifferent when you rise above the duality of love and hatred. Both love and hate touch our hearts; whatever touches our hearts leaves an imprint on our minds. It is these imprints that make up our memory store. It is for this reason that Vedic and other spiritual texts preach one to remain even. Being even is a step higher than being indifferent. Because being even is being indifferent with compassion, with empathy.
The greater the number of memories you have with someone, the harder it is to move on. Because memories indicate a commitment of time. The number of memories is directly proportional to the amount of time you invested with the person. How big or how easily an investment one can write off varies from one person to another. You cannot erase a person from your mind by trying not to think about them.
A good question would be: do you need to forget in order to forgive or must you forgive first so you may forget? Well, when you have negative feelings towards someone: you need to forgive so you may forget. Unless you forgive them, you cannot be even; until you are even, you can’t be indifferent, and forgetting is not possible without indifference. Only what is forgivable is forgettable. Mind you, forgiveness and reconciliation are not synonyms; something for another time.
Love yourself. Value yourself. Consequently, you will not miss those who do not love or value you.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
-Pablo Neruda, poet.
And really, how to forget someone you love deeply? How do you move on when you’ve given your heart and soul to a relationship? Can you learn how to stop thinking about someone when they were once your everything?
It is never easy.
Tomorrow is the last night
till our love becomes an ellipsis.
Me, leaving. You, going – the
distance between us stretching
across state lines that for me
hold oceans between them…
You hold me closer and I want to cry.
Do you know how it hurts to touch you
knowing that in the morning I’ll still wake up alone?
Tomorrow is the last night
till our love becomes an ellipsis.
I don’t want to think of all those suns
that will rise without you.
From I Love You by Shinji Moon
Art of Meditation
Free yourself from suffering and live life to the fullest. Learn the yogic technique of meditation in 4 days (and master it over a lifetime)
While completely forgetting someone you love deeply is not possible, it is very much possible to move on and lead a healthy, happy life. The following FAQs delve into the different aspects of loving and letting go.
After all, to quote Alfred Lord Tennyson, ‘tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
1. Can you learn how to forget someone who hurt you?
Every time you are hurt, a little bit of you is broken. You patch yourself, determined to win over or change the other person, but with each hit you take you lose a bit more of yourself.
The only way to avoid being hurt in a relationship is total acceptance of the other person, and that, I may add, is extremely rare. You get hurt because you are human and they hurt you because they are human.
If their good outstrips their bad, rejoice and turn inward so you be less vulnerable. If their bad surpasses their good, forgive and move on.
Your own will hurt you, for love is not about never getting hurt. Instead, it is about not losing sight of the good in the other person even when they hurt you.
Remember, When They Hurt You, you have a choice. Rather than wondering how to forget someone who hurt you, focus on letting it go so that life continues to flow like a placid, clean river.
2. Why is forgiveness important in learning how to forget someone you love deeply?
I bring to you three ways, coping mechanisms if you will, to preserve your peace and rid yourself of pain and burden. There may or may not be philosophical or empirical truth to these methods. But you can treat them as affirmations to keep your calm.
- I owe you – In this affirmation, you simply have to think that you have some unfinished business with this person. You must pay what you owe.
- I forgive you – Remind yourself that you are forgiving the other person because their conduct, attitude or mistakes are not bigger than your existence. That you consciously choose to emerge larger than their neglect. Say: “I forgive you because I want to free myself.”
- I am the owner – We are responsible for the choices we make. We are the owners of our life, our minds, our emotions.
Know more about the Three Ways to Keep Your Calm so that you can steer the ship of your life to a peaceful shore. Sometimes, it’s not about how to forget someone; it’s about finding your inner strength.
3. How do I stop thinking about someone who doesn’t love me back?
At the outset, let me say there’s little you can do if you love someone but they don’t love you (back). When you’ve tried everything you can think of, and when you’ve given it your best shot and you are still not loved back, at that time, you’ve three choices:
- Change yourself – If you have no choice, if must you stay with the person due to financial, family or other reasons, and they don’t love you back, well then, stop expecting love so you may live in peace.
- Change the other person – In reality, this is not even a choice because you can’t change the other person unless they are willing to change. But if you want any change in the other person, you can’t expect it by demeaning them.
- Change the person – Often, a lot of people go for this option only to enter into another unfulfilling relationship. When you decide the current person is no good and that you must have someone else, be very sure you’ve actually and honestly done whatever you could to save the relationship.
The first relationship you have is with yourself. Respect and value it. Don’t torture yourself. People with high self-esteem possess one common trait: they value themselves, they value what they have to offer and they consider themselves worthy of love. They believe it.
If you want to know how to stop thinking about someone When They Don’t Love You Back, begin by respecting yourself first.
4. How do I get over the hurt caused by a loved one?
How to forget someone who hurt you? There’s no doubt that we will get hurt, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get over it. We truly do hold the keys to our happiness.
In a nutshell, we should examine if we are reasonable with the expectations we have from the other person, and, if we are taking responsibility for the choices we have made, and, if we are hurting anyone else, anyone at all in this creation.
When we hurt someone, it doesn’t mean the same person will hurt us back. It simply means that in the immaculate laws of Nature, She will set up someone else to deliver the goods.
Reflect on the above and act accordingly, and I promise you’ll become your own witness to a powerful inner transformation in How to Get Over Hurt.
Just as we can’t make someone forget something, we must be patient with our own minds in moving on and forgetting.
5. How do I deal with the loss of a loved one?
When a loved one dies, we often go into denial. We not only want to forget, we want to pretend that everything is okay.
The truth is, how to forget someone who has impacted our very soul? Recovery is a long process but is necessary for healing.
The following video talks about how to deal with the loss of a loved one.
- 0:49: A wound takes time to heal
- 2:28: How Ananda experienced Samadhi and dropped his body
- 5:39: You are closest to God when in grief