I’m Susan Regan, and today, I’m talking about “moving on vs. moving forward.”
I’m speaking to those of you, who are working on being better in your daily life.
Just want the audios? Here you go:
BEING BETTER IN YOUR DAILY LIFE:
[Listen to the Audio.]
What’s the difference between moving on and moving forward?
We all have things that happen in our life, which disappoint us, cause us great grief, and are, perhaps, not quite the vision of how we thought things would be.
So, what do we do when these things happen — move on or move forward? It can be especially hard when people around you may be telling you to just move on.
I was thinking about all of the varying emotions and coping skills that accompany grief and loss, which I see in my clients, myself, and other people close to me.
It’s so tempting to close-off and tune-out, in order to get through or avoid the pain we’re feeling. But, we can move forward with these emotions — not avoiding or leaving them behind. We can bring them with us, and try to make our lives continue to work, despite this pain.
Sometimes, we adjust our path — develop coping skills, face the things that are challenging us, and sometimes — when we’re really struggling — we allow ourselves to be around other people who can help us with these vulnerabilities.
Moving forward, I know, is not often easy. But we don’t just move on — separating ourselves from our feelings. When we lose someone we really value and care about, we can aim to move forward in the spirit of holding their memory, and the memories of the times we had with them, instead of trying to move on from the loss — and forget about them.
It will be hard at times, and we might want to collapse from the pain of it. But, at other times, it will inspire us and cause us to grow.
We may have regrets and bring those pains and grief into the present, but we don’t have to let those pains get the better of us. We can use them to move forward as even stronger, smarter, more tuned-in and experienced individuals. So, continue to inquire about what’s going on inside you — what you’re feeling and how you’re doing. I hope you continue to find opportunities to better understand yourself and integrate your feelings a little bit more.
Keep yourself moving forward, so that you don’t have to be separate from your pain but can, instead, embrace it and feel your joy even more because of it.
I really believe that if you take some time to work on your emotional self you can create the kind of life and relationships you want.
DECIDING TO DIVORCE:
Moving forward vs. moving on, if you’re deciding to divorce…
Whether you end up staying in your relationship or leaving, you still have the choice to work on the feelings and experiences you had, which may have included feeling stuck or unhappy.
It’s your choice whether to move forward with these feelings — remembering to work through them to create different ways of being with yourself or with your partner. Or, you can move on — shutting these feelings down, stepping over them, and going on to more positive feelings. Not everyone processes their uncomfortable feelings.
The real question is: can you forgive yourself for how you’ve been treated? How have you been in this relationship; how have you behaved; and can you live with that? Are their parts of yourself that you want to work on and change? And, if you’re staying with your partner — can you forgive them?
Forgiveness requires Moving Forward — meaning, you have to actually work on letting go of these feelings — on a regular basis. Maybe some things happened in the relationship that are unforgivable. You might’ve done things you are ashamed of. You might have left someone who you let treat you disrespectfully, which may be unbearable to think about. It might be hard for you to even look at your partner, because of how they have acted and what they have said. But, it’s your choice whether you’re going to move forward with these feelings and bring them with you as a reminder to choose to do something else in the future — even just to feel something else, step away, and not engage in those things that are going to be harmful to you.
In moving forward and moving on — whether you stay or go — forgiveness always has to be part of each option.
I hope this helps you to apply the concept of moving forward and moving on to your decision.
If you’re in a co-parenting relationship, and you have ended your relationship as a couple, it can be so hard and confusing, to separate the couple relationship from the parenting relationship. You don’t have to be as emotionally involved with the co-parenting, but you don’t get to be cut off. This part can be difficult, because it’s hard to grieve when you always see the person who you’ve separated from.
If you bring the negative feelings you have about that person into your new co-parenting relationship, it could be more challenging — unless you use those feelings as reminders about how you would like to feel and engage, going forward.
Then, use your energy to create what you do you want — more of in terms of celebrating your style of parenting and/or not having tension in your space. Things could, ultimately, be more neutral and should be more formal. If you are less triggered, you can really focus on being good parents, together. So when it comes to co-parenting, it’s really about moving forward in this experience — not moving on.
You definitely can’t cut off from it, but definitely can grow from it. So, I hope you keep practicing that idea.
STRENGTHENING YOUR COUPLE RELATIONSHIP:
If you are in a couple relationship, differentiating between moving forward versus moving on is critical.
You know how you have these great moments in your couple relationship — the ones you just want to live in forever? And then… you have these other moments that are so painful that you can’t even think about how you’re going to forgive your partner or yourself for that regressive event? This is where the concept of moving forward can really help bring you into your next moment with your partner. Remember that you can forgive yourself, as well as them, and you can create something magnificent or endearing — instead of living in the past pain. So, don’t cut yourself off from it. Instead, use it as an experience to strengthen your couple relationship.
I look forward to supporting your emotional skills development, in my upcoming newsletters.
If you ever have a suggestion or topic you would like me to address, please don’t hesitate to email me.
I’ll look forward to talking to you again next month, but bye for now!!
Susan is a a licensed therapist in California and a nation-wide online coach.