Forgiveness Means Forgetting

Picture credit http://www.tmewcf.org

Picture credit  http://www.tmewcf.org

Forgiveness is a noun defined as: The action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. The root word is a verb (action required) meaning : to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something); to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc); to free or pardon (someone) from penalty; and to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc.) No where in that definition does it mention the key to forgiveness: FORGETTING.

I am not sure if the dictionary is out of touch with humanity/reality or if it is designed to simply state the facts but in order to truly forgive, we have to learn to forget. When people and situations hurt us in a way that changes our lives, forgiveness may take time. Though I try to be like Jesus, I am not Him, and it has taken me almost three years to forgive someone that really hurt me. The only way that I have began to take the steps necessary in letting go is to force myself to forget.

I am not forgetting what happened; not in the least, but I am working to forget the pain that was caused. Only by forgetting the pain can I reflect and remember the lesson that was being taught. We learn our greatest lessons through our worst pains. We have to be willing to look past the obvious hurts and see the jewels being produced through the tears. Sometimes it takes high levels of pain and heartache to make us understand a lesson enough to retain the information as we continue on our journey through life.

Some people refuse to be forgotten, for instance my parents. They are not bad people, they are just not the greatest people for my personal growth and development. I forgive them constantly because to this day they still have no idea what they are doing/have done to hurt me. Words from those we love have a great influence on us; as well as, their presence (or lack therof) in our lives.

How can someone work on something they don’t even know they are doing, especially when they refuse to acknowledge or take in consideration that they are doing something to hurt someone that they love?

People tend to have gotten so accustomed to the way things are that they fail to see that things can be better. GOD instructs us to ponder our own steps because we are constantly doing things without any thought whatsoever. When we do so we can unconsciously hurt, offend, and overlook how our actions and words affect those around us. If it is not positive, it is negative. There is not much gray area when there is a way to say and do things that will build up instead of tear down. Some things just require a little more thought.  A good policy is:

think before you speak

Words hurt and cause wounds that are not easily healed. Though the hurt may be forgiven, forgetting takes time. We all have a choice, we can continue to deal with those that have hurt us. Or we can forgive and walk away, which makes it easier to forget. Despite popular belief it is our life and we don’t have to tolerate anyone who is not a positive influence in our life. We only get one life to live and though GOD wants us to forgive because we are forgiven nothing says we must keep subjecting ourselves to the same abuse. That is more foolish than wise. The sacrifice for us was already made so that we can forgive and forget with a clear conscience.

Acting like it never happened is a step in life that takes time and many opportunities to get it right. Our job is to try our best and to keep on trying. Be patient with yourself. To forgive  takes strength and learning to forget takes courage; you have to be pretty darn awesome to attempt either continuously!!! 😀

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections

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