I’ve been told that forgiving is easy, it’s the forgetting that’s hard. However, I don’t necessarily agree with that. When someone does you harm, how do you forgive and forget?
Some people just asked a question in their head:
Doesn’t that mean what they did was okay?
Forgiveness isn’t about the people who’ve hurt you, it’s about your heart and what pain you’d like to hold onto. When you forgive, you’re releasing the pain, heartache, and the chance to retaliate. In turn, you get peace, happiness, and joy. When you finally forgive and forget, you’ll experience something amazing.
That is what forgiveness is, and when you can’t forget it, maybe your emotions are still tied to it.
I will never condone forgetting what someone has done. Because you might need boundaries so they don’t do the same thing again and again to you. Let’s look on the extreme side for an example, what if someone murdered a person close to you? You can forgive them, but how are you going to forget that? I discuss something very similar to this in my book “Hurricane Jerald.”
When you forgive, you can’t necessarily forget the actions of the person. However, you can forget the anger, pain, and heartache they caused. Forgive and Forget, is really something only God can do, and that’s because he’s perfect. I don’t want him to remember what I’ve done wrong.
When you truly forgive, you can think about that person, and not wanna punch them in the face.
Is It Possible To Forgive & Forget?
I don’t think you can ever totally forget what happened to you. My father was abusive, and I still forgave him before he passed away. Sometimes I’ll think about my childhood and I’ll still get angry.
However, I’ve noticed the anger isn’t directed at him anymore, it’s more focused on what was lost. I spent the last two years of his life next to his hospital bed. We forgave each other, reconciled, and he passed. You could almost say I’ve gotten as close to forgive and forget as I can.
I chose to forgive him, and the bonus I received by letting go, was a lighter heart. Before I was a broken man, a child even. The part of me that was broken by him, had never grown up. But sometimes I wonder if I forgot, would something be lost? I almost don’t want to forgive and forget. I want to remember who I once was, and know that I’ve changed.
When your heart is injured, that part of your heart stops maturing. You’ll notice when something jostles it, you’ll act in a way you normally don’t, but it’s still familiar. I’ve had this happen multiple times, and it’s a surefire way to know that I need some healing. I have to forgive and forget.
You can do this too. Make the choice, talk out your feelings, and continue to forgive and forget. But in this case, the forgetting is the anger.
When You Forgive And Forget, You Heart Will Find Freedom
Society has a powerful quote that I’ve heard a lot recently:
There’s a fine line between love and hate
This is why Forgive and Forget can be such a powerful phrase. I wrote above forgetting is more about forgetting the anger. But for the post, the fine line is because of the intense emotions involved with love and hate. Why do divorces get so ugly? Because once there was a lot of love, and that love has soured.
If people would forgive and forget. I think we’d see a massive drop in divorce. The truth is that love can sour when something negative happens. However we have the cure, and what you need to do, is forgive and forget.
Family Pain; Is The Most Difficult And The Hardest To Forgive
I think family pain is the hardest to navigate. These are the people we’ve opened up our hearts to. We’ve grown up with them, and they know the real us. When something like divorce, cheating, or even a major lie happens, It breaks us and shakes our foundations. This pain is different than what comes from a stranger. Because they know the real you, and they still rejected and hurt you.
If a stranger on the street came up to me and insulted me. I’d laugh because it wouldn’t make any sense. I don’t know them, and their opinion means nothing to me. (I still might get mad) However, the exact same sentence said to me by a close confidant, or family member could lead to a fight. Especially if I don’t have enough time to forgive and forget.
1 Way To Forgive; The Story Of Eva Kor
Forgiveness is a tough road, but it is the best road to take. So how do you travel the road? How can you forgive, when somebody has done the unthinkable? Eva Kor is a great example of what forgive and forget really mean.
Eva Kor and her twin sister were sent to Auschwitz in 1944. At the camp, Josep Mengele put them through horrible and dehumanizing medical experiments. Eva was even told by Joseph that she only had weeks to live at one point.
Why am I sharing this story? On 4.28.15 Oskar Groening was on trial for his part in the Holocaust. During his time at Auschwitz, he was the camp bookkeeper.
In the courthouse, Eva approached Oskar, gave him a hug, and forgave him. This caused waves of anger among the other survivors, but she still did it. Oskar then took the stand and begged for forgiveness from the survivors.
The other survivors were angry, but Eva responded with the quote below:
“I don’t forget what they have done to me,” Kor explained. “But I am not a poor person – I am a victorious woman who has been able to rise above the pain and forgive the Nazis.
“I know many people will criticize me for this photo, but so be it,” she wrote on Facebook after sharing a photograph of her and Groening holding hands. “It was two human beings 70 years after it happened. For the life of me, I will never understand why anger is preferable to a goodwill gesture.”
I love this quote of hers. I know you came here to learn how you might forgive and forget, but that might be impossible. However, you can forgive, and live. The trick about forgiveness is that it stops the event from controlling your life.
Those Holocaust victims that were angry at Eva carried that anger with them for over 70 years. That is a huge burden to carry, especially when you can just set it down. This is why learning to forgive and forget is so important. You have to let go of that anger, I’m sure it’s eating away at you.
Remember what I said at the start of this article. Forgiveness isn’t saying what they did Was okay. It never is, Instead forgiveness is about letting your connection and emotions vested in the issue go.
Never Carry A Burden For That Long.
What Stops Us From Forgiving?
Most of the time our pride stops us. We can’t admit we’re wrong or we don’t like the idea of hurting them anymore. When in reality your relationship will be stronger by going to them and having a deep conversation.
I really hate those, but I understand the necessity.
In conclusion, if you really care for someone, try to clear the air. Go up to them, and explain (not in a threatening tone) what you thought you heard. Ask them what they really meant. Tell them it hurt you. If they really care, you’ll be able to make things work.
This Is Why We Have A Divided Country
I’ll briefly touch on this topic, at this point in time the leaders of our country have shut the government down. They can’t agree on some simple points. That’s how things work in our country sometimes.
Eventually, this will get worked out, it just sucks that so much time is being wasted. What isn’t okay is the name-calling. It is hurtful, and juvenile, and our leadership should be above that.
The people in our country need to come together. Not as democrats, republicans, or libertarians, but as Americans. We have common ground, stop letting the rhetoric divide us. It’s time we make real and positive changes. It’s time we realize the hate we hold in our hearts, and let it go. I’m not talking about one side or the other. I’m just speaking the truth. I hope you all have an awesome day, and that you enjoyed reading this.
I spent many years hating my father. He was abusive, he lied, and he hurt my family. Now he’s got cancer, and I’ve finally reconnected with him. it isn’t a perfect relationship, but he’s my father. I’ve let go of my hate, and anger. He has too, now I’m getting to know him, and that is pretty awesome.
However I know that I’m living with him on borrowed time, and all I want is more of it.
***Note My Father Passed Away A Few Months After Writing Forgive And Forget. Because of Our Time Together, I Can Honestly Say I’m At Peace With It All. Don’t Wait. Do It Today!!!
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport.
While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.