Few things in life are harder than moving on. I know I have a tough time letting go of things that hurt me. I can hold onto those grudges and that pain because sometimes it is so hard to accept that something bad happened to me, but it did, and when I can accept that, I can finally let that pain in the past and prepare to live a different present ― making decisions that will benefit me. Holding onto that pain and keeping those grudges is like having to carry heavy weights; Once it is off of me, I feel lighter, free to continue my path better and with more energy.
One of the consequences of accepting that bad things happened, that you got hurt, and letting all that go, is finally being able to forgive someone. People act like forgiveness is a consequence of the person that once hurt us atoning. My personal experience is different. Sure, having the feeling that they regret all the pain they caused you can help you move on, but in the end, forgiveness is a natural consequence of a process concerning yourself and your thoughts, not theirs. When you can let go of that pain, you are also able to look at the person that caused it without seeing them through that pain. Forgiveness is, then, natural. People think that forgiving someone can make you lighter, but in reality, being lighter makes you able to forgive.
Forgiving someone, however, does not mean you have a place for them in your life anymore. To me, forgiving is part of the process of moving on. Letting go of that pain, wishing people on your past all the best, and wanting a fresh start without holding on to any of your past hurts. Make a place for new relationships, where you can fulfill yourself and fully trust those people you are bonding with. Letting go of the bad feelings you have for someone does not mean they will return to the same place in your life, or even that you will become closer again, even if it is in another way. Those relationships made sense in your life at the moment they were happening, but maybe they simply do not anymore. Understanding that forgiveness is more me and my own process of letting things go and not a result of the other person’s journey, helped me understand that forgiveness is not an open door back into my life.
Feelings are somewhat complicated. There will be cases that you will be able to trust someone after forgiving them. Your relationship with them may still make sense to you. Forgiving someone does not mean automatically that they have a place in your life, but after forgiving people, you have to think what that means to you. At the end of the day, learning to process your feelings and centering your emotional process on your own helps you to guide yourself, and not anyone else's conceptions of what is right or wrong, and healthy or not in a relationship.
That is the most important conclusion of any emotional journey: this is your story, your feelings, and at the end of the day, forgiveness comes from you, you do it because and when you feel healed, and you are the only one to decide what it means in terms of relationships and your future. That is truly moving on.