(Picture Source: Dr Lara Fernandez)
How often have we cried out to ourselves, “I can forgive but I cannot forget”? I’m sure innumerable times or every time we have been badly hurt by our closed ones. It is true that the pain and hurt that we experience is unfathomable and irreplaceable. None but the one going through it can feel it. However people sympathize with you, there is no way you can come to terms with forgetting the treatment that you received. Well, firstly, let me tell you, there are many others like you experiencing and going through those very things. You are not alone. So does that comfort you a bit? If not I guess you are having a hard time forgiving someone.
There are two words that complement each other- (1) Forgive and, (2) Forget. One without the other is dysfunctional which means if one is applied without the other, the appropriate outcome will not be received. Henry Ward Beecher once said, ““I can forgive but I cannot forget”, is only another way of saying, “I will not forgive”. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note torn in two and burned up, so that it can never be shown against the man.
To forgive a person is like to stop to feel resentment against the person who hurt you or left you. To forget is like entering into a new world where the past cannot probe into your life anymore. It’s like trusting in an unseen future with good hope. Forgetting is definitely the hardest thing to accomplish but it’s not impossible.
Think of the times, when you were forgiven for something terrible done by you. Weren’t you given a chance? It did feel like you were reborn, isn’t it? When somebody else could forgive and forget the treatment you meted out to them, then you too possess the power to do so. When you don’t forgive, it is you who is suffering not anyone else. The Scripture tells that you can forgive seventy times seven. It’s just a number. You can do more than that, however you need.
Forgiveness is a gift to mankind by God. It does not make you shallow rather it elevates you to a position where you become invincible, where negative powers are unable to penetrate your being. We all like gifts. We feel good when we gift something to others, right? Forgiveness and forgetting the hurt are the amazing presents that can be given to people. What can be said to a person who loves the people who hurt him, who does good hoping for nothing again, who doesn’t judge and above all forgives wholeheartedly?
Therefore, my dear friends before you deliberate about forgiving and forgetting a negative treatment, consider the times when you were in their shoes. The best thing to do along with the two above mentioned actions is to wait upon your Creator who is the Judge of all.