head> Forgiving Without Forgetting

Forgiveness calms and heals the wounds of unkind words and actions. However, we need not forgive and forget quickly but should forgive, learn by heart and understand the conflict. Yes, it is possible to forgive someone without forgetting.

I forgive, but never forget because I never want to be hurt the same way twice.

I wish I had learned earlier in life the art of forgiveness, both giving and receiving it and the freedom of spirit it can bring. We cannot have a pleasant and happy life without it.

Why is it hard to forgive? It is because we usually believe that the other side is 90% to blame for the problem. So we start carrying the load of other people’s actions. Our ego maybe so hurt that we have our own idea of justifying the conflict and we proclaim: " I know I am right and that is not fair".

But if we start to sincerely forgive from the heart, this kind of feeling and attitude begins to dissolve. We remain humble and forgiveness will bring us closer to others. Then, we do not have to carry the burden of regrets or anger, we just let go and remain light.

Forgiveness is a complicated and sensitive subject, as we were recently reminded when two disgraced New York politicians announced their campaigns. Former governor Eliot Spitzer, running for state comptroller, asked voters to forgive his past penchant for prostitutes, while shamed ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner continued to plead with constituents to overlook his lewd photos, "sexting" and subsequent lies.
These comeback endeavors were met with mixed feelings, ranging from skepticism to outrage, to an attitude of forgive and forget. It is in forgiving and forgetting that puzzles me most.

Why is forgiveness so often linked with forgetting? Is it some reflexive cheek-turning that we, Christians believe is a virtue? Does it have to do with some societal instinct for denial? Or is it our accelerated culture and 24/7 news cycle that force us to move on at all costs?

Forget what hurt you in the past. But never forget what it taught you.

I am for forgiving and remembering, and shifting the emphasis from holding a grudge or hanging on to resentment, to develop our ability to confront indiscretions. We could consider the full complement of our experiences, actions and words that might explain the motives behind an act, then fully absorbing its meaning. Only then can we find a way to move on peacefully.

Part of how genuine forgiveness works is by taking us outside of ourselves. In the process it enriches and expands our comprehension and acceptance of human beings and their behavior.

Healing come through understanding. It comes from listening to stories, assigning them to memory, retaining them forever. Forgiveness is a spiritual exercise that has to do with many things, but forgetting is not among them.

Forgiveness is not a question of forgetting the wrong done. If we have forgotten what was done, there is nothing to forgive. Forgiveness involves refusing to allow ourselves to give in to anger and the desire for revenge. It is not a matter of negating, denying nor assigning the iniquity to unconsciousness, but of confronting it and absorbing it fully.

We will find the path to reconciliation and redemption when we come to believe that forgiveness emerges from a transformative dialogue between the person hurt and the person inflicting pain.

When the weight of guilt is lifted from the abuser, so too is the burden of victimhood lifted from the abused. Quick, easy, careless forgiveness can both degrade the power of the offense and diminish the profound and positive force of absolution.

Forgiveness can purify our memory according to Pope John Paul II. That seems to be the key. It makes sense, to believe that remembering, as opposed to forgetting, is vital to the process of forgiveness. It requires remembering our own experience, the nature of the offense, the character of the offender. And then, above all, remembering the humanity that binds us together.

By Tim Pedrosa

When people keep on hurting you over and over, just ignore and forgive them; think of them as sandpaper. They scratch and hurt you but later, you'll be shining and polished, while they end up useless.