“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”
Several years ago I went through perhaps the most painful betrayal. It was more painful than being cheated on and lied to, even more painful than being back stabbed by a close friend, or being lied to. I felt like I was being betrayed and abandoned by a family member who meant the world to me. Never in my life had I experience such tremendous pain, and the hardest part was trying to learn how to live without that person being part of my life. Needless to say, my anger towards the situation took the best of me, and turned me into this bitter person who could not find it in her heart to ever trust anyone else. Little after I graduated from High School, I moved to another State, where I lived on a Christian College campus for a year, a place I can refer to as my safe haven. Away from family, away from friends, away from everyone, I focused on God, my self, and my studies, trying to fill that void that this person left inside of me. Then one day in my Christian beliefs class, I asked my teacher How do you honestly forget what someone does to you? I understand that the Bible wants us to forgive, but how do you forget? The Bible never said to forget, he answered. God forgives us of our sins but we still have to assume the consequences. Forgiveness is all about being free from the hurt, and the anger. Forgiveness is simply not allowing someone else to have control of our emotions. When you resent someone, the only person being hurt is yourself because the other person has already moved on with their lives.
The only reason that we find it so hard to forgive people that have truly hurt us, is because we think that with forgiving comes forgiveness. But the truth of the matter is, we won’t ever forget. Things are stored in our memories forever. But with forgiveness comes peace of mind. Once you are able to forgive someone, you are no longer hurting from what that person once did. What we must remember is that the only way that we can learn from our experiences is by not forgetting what once happened in order to keep it from happening again.
I thank God that I was able to forgive that someone, and although I’ll never forget that specific time of my life, I have learned that sometimes, we must learn to forgive and put certain things aside, only for own sake.