The Capacity For Forgiveness
I grew up with the adage that you should always forgive and then forget, and I believed that should be the way for a very long time. I then practiced it in my daily life consciously until I was deeply hurt once again, and this particular time the pain lingered because somebody had broken my trust into countless painful shards.
I have since forgiven that person, well I think I have. At least I think that I don’t wish anything bad to befall on this person; as there remains not a single iota of vengeance left in my heart. But every time that I still think of this person and what had been done, I cannot help but contain the sudden rush of emotions that still fills me, being deeply hurt and restless from within.
So that got me thinking, I keep telling myself that I have forgiven, but really, have I? Because since if I had, then there wouldn’t be any hurt, there wouldn’t be any remnants of the pain, there wouldn’t be that betrayal or that sense of wrong doing. So is the adage completely wrong? I needed an answer. I needed to know if closure was possible or not.
So after a lot of contemplation, I realized that you should never forget, as you need to keep it alive in your memory, and then work on the pain, and then while doing so, you’ll begin the journey to real genuine forgiveness.
When you forgive someone, you rather do it for yourself, and not for the other person. Forgiveness is selfish as it’s a gift that you give yourself. It’s not something that you do or grant someone else. Forgiving and forgetting is a myth.
You may never be able to forget, but you will have the choice to forgive and then move on. I feel that remembering always helps, this because it will take away the feeling of hurt, bit by bit, each time that you remember, as well as helping you move forward in your journey of forgiveness.
In order to be able to truly forgive someone, you need to acknowledge that you have been hurt. For the most of us, this may be the most difficult part of forgiving someone since we cannot admit that we’ve been hurt.
We will often dismiss the reality that we have been hurt, so we can put up a strong exterior, or because we have no idea on how to handle the reality of dealing with the harm in a relationship. Over time I have learned that I need to honor my experiences just as they are.
If I will honor all the good things in my life, I will also then need to acknowledge the bad. Allow myself to experience and express empathy as well as compassion for my hurt, which has helped me in the healing process and prepared me to be truly able to forgive.
Forgiveness is not always easy as it seems, as it’s a process. We will often tend to speak outward forgiveness. The reality of this however is that were saying we really wish to forgive, and any wish can be easily done with the pain still lingering, or a wish to act as we should. But this quick easy forgiveness, like any other quick easy solution, doesn’t stand the real test of time.
I have come to the conclusion that just as we will water our plants, wash our clothes, change the oil in our car, feed ourselves daily, read good books or continuously repeat anything, life is the repetition of valued processes. So why not forgiveness?
Written For Marlene, Happy Birthday – May 9th. Miss You!