Can We Ever Forgive Without Forgetting?

We carry so many burdens with us, from our childhoods throughout our lives. We carry hurts and wrongs that were done to us. We carry regrets about things we wish we had or hadn’t done. We hide these memories, but the anger and hurt eventually eats us up. Sometimes you get so furious at someone and all of a sudden you blurt out of sheer madness without thinking, “I’ll never forgive you for this.” Just like that. And at that moment, fuming with rage you figure that it is absolutely impossible for you to find the willingness of letting go of the anger towards that certain someone. Or perhaps for some people, you keep a straight face, pretend that it never happened and go on with life suppressing all the madness and keeping grudges. Ever felt like that before?

Anger is like a chain which binds you to the person or situation against whom you feel it. You will drag them behind you for the rest of your life, unless you are willing to forgive them. But I’m not saying forgiving is an easy thing to do. For some, it’s like the hardest thing a human being can do. But forgiving is the only way to dissolve a chain of anger. Sometimes, the other party does not even remember of the incident and are totally unaware of our feelings(making you even more angry!) In the end, the one who pays the price is none other than yourself. And it sure penetrates deep, doesn’t it?

Some let their pride and ego destroy a relationship that took a lifetime to build. Both parties think the other did wrong and both are waiting for each other to say the sacred ‘sorry’. And both keep waiting and waiting until a beautiful relationship that once flourished dies… What’s wrong with a mere “I’m sorry”? What’s wrong with bowing down for a bit and save something that took ages to build?

Forgiving someone does not mean you agree with what has been said or done. It also does not mean that we necessarily ever want anything to do with the person we forgive. Or even see and hear from that person ever again. And I think that’s fine. Why? Because simply to me, forgiving does not mean you forget. We are each born with an ability to remember. We live guided by our past. Why else do we learn History for?

The only reason we have to learn to forgive is none other than to free ourselves from negative feelings. The bondage of anger. Trust me, there is even a sense of freedom to it because you have finally learnt… to let go. People say, you gotta “forgive and forget”. But heck, how many of us forget?? It’s impossible. The longer you keep the anger all bottled up inside, the longer it will haunt every aspect of your life. And that my friends… is the true reason that keeps us from being able to truly love. The deal is simple… without forgiving someone, you can’t really love yourself. Whatever applies to forgiving others also applies to the one who may be the hardest of all to forgive– yes, yourself.

I would say I’m a pretty forgiving person but I’m far from forgetting anything. I guess it’s because I realize that we can’t change the offender. We can only change how we respond to the situation and the only way… is by forgiving.

Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself. –Harriet Nelson


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