Forgive and Forget- which one is more difficult?

To forgive takes love, to forget takes humility.  This is a subject that has affected me greatly over the past couple of years and one that I am still trying to master. Will I ever really master it?  I really don’t know the answer.  I find it comforting in my faith, that the good book that I read does speak to the issue of forgetting my mistakes.  I wish that my brain had the capacity to do just that, forget.  I suppose that it does, as I do not remember all the details of my young life, and there are early chapters where my memory is faded, but for the “biggies” the life-changers, those BIG mistakes, those are pretty easy to remember.

I was visiting with my parents recently who described some of my early childhood activities in our neighborhood, relating that I was the local “ambassador” on our street, greeting neighbors, riding my bike all around, and in general a pretty good kid. Frankly it was not a memory that I have held onto, yet my parents, in their 90’s have related this to me pretty well and succinctly.  I was surprised to hear the story especially around new company, but happy that I proved to be well-behaved at that time, and did something that my parents were proud of.

I have posted before about regrets, and having many of them.  I have many pride points too. I write though about what I am going through, and try to express my feelings and for me I have been on this track of self-improvement.  I guess it wouldn’t be the multi-billion dollar industry today, if it wasn’t on everybody’s mind and agenda. Supplements, diet, exercise, fitness, self-help, books, seminars, etc. I guess i am just one the of millions looking at what I do, deciding what I can change (and as it turns out, most of it I can) and determining what is the priority.  I haven’t spent the much time on what I need to change during my short life, but I have determined that what I have been doing thus far isn’t working.

I’m not completely fulfilled, and I am yearning for more, and there are still goals I am trying to accomplish, and a few that I need to come to terms with.  Much like a woman, who has a natural time clock in her body, for example to have children, she has to make a decision on what she will do, and only has so much time to determine that.

So this act of forgiveness and forgetting for me is a process.  The part that I am dealing with the most is the forgetting. Like many others I have my very fair share of mistakes, Most that I wish I never did, some that I equate to just growing up, and others I knew were dead wrong.  I am and have been accountable for my actions.  But the forgetting part has not been so much on what I have done, but on what has been done to me and against me.

I was in a relationship that ended poorly, with lots of hurt on both sides, and a lot of immaturity.  There were plenty of great times, but when that bad hit, it hit hard, like a knock-out punch that once recovered, I’d ask myself, where did that come from????  Only to recognize that it had been me, who was the perpetrator, though in denial, like the river in Africa.  There was certainly enough blame to fill an ocean, but my recovery from all of that hurt has been slow, and now on to dealing with it, how to forget.

The humility part, the time heals all wounds part, the understanding of how my faith affects and effects the process. The action in my brain to truly move forward. These are the issues that I am dealing with.  My faith makes it easy to forgive. There is incentive to do so, and it’s really quite wonderful to do so, rather than hold onto the hate…….. like its own revelation, right now, to not hold onto the hate, the burden of all of that, is truth revealed.

Why have I chosen to forgive and not to forget? Is it a choice, do I have the same control over forgetting that I have over forgiving? Now as I read what I have written, I think I do. I think I can apply the same measure and reason to both issues. I think that if I searched my faith more in-depth, the two are hand in hand.  I’ll still remember the hurts but I don’t have to relive that pain over and over again.

This reminds me of a business relationship I was once a part of. That once that business fell apart, I felt an incredible amount of anger towards the individual, and for almost a year it consumed me, my attention, my thoughts, and it affected my health. The business partner had moved away, and was unreachable, our interaction was nil, and it was as if he just walked off the planet.  About a year later, he arrived back in town, and I made a point to confront him, and express my feelings, and in the process, asking for forgiveness about the hurt, the pain, the rejection and the anger,  I had felt toward him. Through our brief conversation, we spoke truth, and I felt finally free, and from that point on, I never reflected about that issue again. I can’t explain it really, other than it was God that set me free.  You don’t have to agree about that, and it’s okay, it’s not your blog. But I get it, and I understand that many are still searching for that truth in their lives.

I am grateful that I have taken a step forward in writing a blog, as my friend relates, putting my toe into the water.  This has been therapeutic for me, able to express what I think, and maybe in the process helping someone else.  I am not an expert, not a professional writer, not a relationship expert, not an expert in anything really, just a willing vessel.

I have a lot of growth still to accomplish, some inner patterns to change, a lot of improvement. I write to share my side of the story and everyone has one.  I still have more work to do in the forgetting department, to show humility. I suppose that if I hope that one would show that toward me, I should be gracious enough to express humility myself, as well.

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