“Forgive and forget.” It has been said that these two should go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t always work that way, does it? Too many times we will say, ‘ok, I forgive you. But I’m not going to forget what you did/said/etc.’
It isn’t real forgiveness if we continue to hang on to what happened and replay it over and over. Letting these things fester in our hearts and minds does nothing but make us feel bad. There is no real forgiveness unless we really do forgive and forget.
Forgiving and forgetting are acts of kindness and mercy to the other person, but most of all to ourselves. When we can actually let go of hurt feelings, anger, fear, doubt and frustration, we set ourselves free. Forgiving and not forgetting is no forgiveness at all.
Often people do and say things that cut deeply and, believe it or not, they may not be aware of its affect on you. To them, they are just blowing off steam and you just happened to be in the way. It doesn’t make them terrible people, it’s just the way that they process things.
If we take the long view, how does it serve us to keep a running list of hurts and offenses against us? It doesn’t hurt the person who committed the offence in the first place, but it sure hurts YOU.
It isn’t easy to forgive and forget. But it is vital to realize that keeping track of each and everything, big or small, that offended us is actually hurting us. Who needs that?
I recently found the following “Paradoxical Commandments” from Kent M. Keith, “The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council.” They have made me laugh and think, as well as forgive and forget. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.
“The Paradoxical Commandments:
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”