We often hear the phrase “forgive and forget”. This got me wondering how many of us truly do this? How many truly forget a painful and awful act caused by a loved one? A lot of times we are able to forgive someone of their actions because after all we are only human right. I just wonder how many of us truly forget the painful act. Can we forgive someone without forgetting? Or is that not really forgiving if we keep the memory of the hurt etched in our minds? This got me to thinking of myself. For a long time I thought I had forgiven this one individual for hurting me emotionally and not acknowledging their actions. I confronted this person about how I was feeling, and they gave a haphazard apology. I let them know that I felt the apology was not sincere, but I would accept it. I thought that was it. I should have been immediately cured of my emotional pain right? Boy was I DEAD wrong!! Even though I forgave the individual, every time I heard their name my skin would crawl. My mind would immediately take me back to the pain this person caused me.
Then one day I had an epiphany and asked myself what good does it do me to hang on to a memory that causes me to become upset? After all I am sure the person who offended me had moved on. I claimed I had by forgiving, but why was I still kept in bondage by holding on to the memory? This was tough for me to grasp. I mean let’s face it, I allowed another individual power over me. It is funny now that I think about it because I was walking around holding on to memories and I was far from a memory in their mind. How did I let myself get so caught up in the offense that it allowed me to remain stagnant? After all I HAD forgiven them right? Wrong!! To me a part of forgiving is also allowing yourself to let the memory of the offense fade into the distance. It is working for me so far, however notice I said fade. Which means the actions are still in the back of my mind reminding me of how far I can go with and what to expect from that individual. It is truly a process, but each day is better than the day before.
I am curious to know your thoughts on whether it is realistic to forgive and forget???