Forgive and…forget?

I’ve been pondering the gift of forgiveness lately…and one morning lately, I wondered if “true” forgiveness involves actually forgetting the wrongdoing (or whatever action called for forgiveness).  Can you forgive and still hurt inside your heart?…or inside your head?  Can you remember the pain and still consider yourself to have forgiven those around you?  Do you try to remember and hang on to what hurt you, like tying a ribbon around your finger?

I don’t have answers yet, but I certainly welcome your thoughts.

As always, sending hugs your way.

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Writer, freelance editor, mother, artist...I wear a few other hats, as well, of course. :)

7 thoughts on “Forgive and…forget?”

  1. Forgiveness. This is a tough one. I’ve found that it’s not a one-time deal. I can forgive someone and then find out two weeks later that I’m still angry with them. If I’m angry with them, I haven’t forgiven them. I don’t think we have to (or should) forget. Forgetting puts us at risk of being hurt again. It took me several years to forgive a backstabber at work. I thought she was a friend, so when she was sabotaging me to get my job, it really hurt. I carried resentment for years, but now when I think about it, I feel sorry for her (mainly because she got my old job :)) Sorry to ramble on…good luck figuring it out!

    1. Thanks for your input and ideas. I carried something for years (like over a decade) and thought I had forgotten about it. Then I told the story to my husband, and he was like, “You haven’t forgiven that person.” After some soul searching, I agreed with him and went about working to forgive. I’m sure that the person had forgotten all about what happened, but I freed myself by forgiving. I appreciate your insight!

  2. I think you can definitely forgive when you still hurt — in fact, I think that’s part of being a grown-up. Forgetting, in this instance, means more not holding a grudge. Of course, there are tons of interpretations. Thanks for sharing this introspective post.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I agree that holding a grudge is part of hanging on…but how much do you hang on to in the name of protecting yourself from getting hurt again? Or do you embrace the journey and live forgiving freely, ignoring the possibility of being hurt again? I wish that I could live that freely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I don’t think it’s always easy for women to forgive and forget (I’m generalizing, but men seem to have much less difficulty with this). I think this is due to females being more in tune with our emotions. We want to know that whoever hurt us is remorseful and committed to proving that he/she will never do it again. If we don’t see that kind of compassion, it’s even harder to move on. We don’t forget that people hurt us, but we do learn from the pain.

  4. Great questions posed here. I don’t believe in forgetting, for the same reasons others mentioned. Forgiveness seems to be a slow burn thing for me… it starts with an intellectual acknowledgment, and then I feel it slowly. It’s about not letting others have power over me and my emotions. And dealing with what’s left.

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