My girls and I attended a wedding a few years ago. Among the guests was a “throuple” of two men and one woman. We found ourselves watching them with the strange kind of fascination we all seem to get when we see something outside of our daily norm, the same way we can’t help but look when we drive past an accident on the side of the road. Throughout the evening we watched as the woman would be with one of the men and we’d think “ok, those two are the couple” but later we’d see her with the other man and think “Well clearly these two are really the couple”. Eventually, Laura (who is very close friends with the bride) just came out and asked the bride which two were together. When the bride explained to her that all three of them were together Laura was baffled. She said “I just don’t understand how they live that way.” I looked at her and said “Laura, YOU were a sister wife!” She laughed and said “Oh yeah. I forgot!”
I’ve often thought about this moment. It stands out as the perfect example of all of the things that Laura has put behind her. I know how drug use can affect the brain and I find myself wondering if forgotten memories are due to drug use or if recovery has the power to remake us so completely that our former self can be dead and buried.
As a Christian woman, I believe in the possibility of being completely forgiven for my past sins and the renewing of my soul. I believe people can do a complete 180 and choose to follow a different path. That said, I don’t think I’ve put my past behind me so much that I could forget it happened.
In Christianity we say we are reborn. In recovery they also claim a new birthday. The day they stopped using is the day they began life again. If we really start life over again, are we able to bury our past-selves in the process?
The choices we’ve made in our lives, good and bad, and the consequences of those choices, shapes who we are as an individual. For myself, I think of my life in chapters. I’m able to turn the page and move onto the next chapter but I don’t know if I’m fully capable of forgetting and letting go of the person I was before. Is the ability to completely forget that former person a strength or a weakness?
I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong answer to my question. I believe it’s just a difference in the way people think. The differences among us are one of the many things things that make life interesting and beautiful.
I welcome the thoughts and opinions of others.
I don’t think we can or should forget who we or others were. I think compassion is the best relationship with our earlier selves.
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