Saturday, 26 February 2011

Forgiving and forgetting . . . I could add a clause there

Waxing eloquence on forgiving and forgetting is all over the place. For some the combination is lethal. For some forgiving is easier but not forgetting. For some nothing matters. After a woman-to-woman discussion with my sister on this subject, we unanimously agreed that while forgiving and forgetting is easy with some individuals, it can be completely impossible with some.

No matter what the issue is, with some individuals, we find it quite hard to practice forgiveness. Perhaps, it is their disposition which is quite sardonic. While some others we can easily forgive even though their act is quite unpardonable. Why?

I agree that the human being is quite a complex creature with a bundle of contradictions. Sometimes living itself is filled with paradoxes and ironies. Such is life. But forgiving and forgetting is something which is quite an everyday process for most of us.

While it takes the utmost courage and strength to forgive as well as forget, it depends on the person who has committed the wrong. I can easily forgive and forget some individuals while I cannot do so with certain others. This kind of partiality is not quite becoming of me but I still DO it.

Well, I wonder what is your attitude in forgiving and forgetting. Can you be uniform across the board or are you like me?

Image: Internet


  1. Simply put, NO.

    There are somes you forgive because you really know them. Others because you don't.

    My brother, yes I have one, Doesn't forget but forgives in a way, not a nice way so there is no bond between us as I can forgive. I may not forget but I move on....

    Peace beautiful A

  2. It depends on the wrong someone committed. Forging/forgetting it's so hard when someone has deeply hurt you.
    I think I'm like you.

    Happy weekend, dear Susan

    B xx

  3. To err is human; to forgive divine" -Alexander Pope

    My life took a major path change some years ago. I was unable to forgive my sister for a major something that she did. Before we could reconcile she was taken from us. Never will i forget, that i could not bring myself to forgive. So i believe you need to look cxarefully at the who, what and why ... then where possible forgive, forget and move on.

  4. I don't think you ever forget even if you forgive, it's whether you chose to put it behind you and allow the person to still be part of your life. I wonder how many afflicted relationships continue prior to the affliction in the same way as after it? True forgiveness would deem that nothing would change, yet I struggle to believe there are many that can express true forgiveness.

  5. Some people are easily forgivable.. but courtesy my memory power, I rarely forget, however hard I try... But after reading you and thinking about it now, I feel that only if we forgive and forget do we forgive the other fully!

    I can forgive people, forgetting is a difficult task as I stated above... but the bond never remains the same either way most often..

    How are things Su.. waiting for a mail from you :P

  6. My belief is that God--or whatever you call Her--is the only One Who can claim THAT kind of forgetfulness.

    Forgive? YES!
    Forget? NEVER!

    Live with it? MAYBE...MAYBE NOT! Depends on the NEED, the LOVE, the JOY which one still can give to another

    Amends of the offender (meaning CHANGE!) can diminish the effects of the offense, but until one dies, there is always that thorn.
    --My 'stupid' Opinion, because I know really N O T H i N G.....


  7. Great one.It varies from man to man and it is not always easy to forgive and forget at the same time.

  8. I do try to forgive and forget now more than ever, possibly due to age or possibly the realisation you only get one life and its to short to spend time on people you dont like. It is hard and may take a whilr but tend to get there eventualy.

  9. I think it would be hard to say that one is across the board on this issue, Susan. Our behaviors and decision-making processes are too complex and shaped by far more things than we can imagine. To claim being across the board is almost equal to claiming that one has no prejudices. It really depends on who did the act, and what the act was, and the context within which it happened, and also our perception of why.


  10. Glad you don't have a difficult question, haha.

    For me it is all about the compatibility of energy. The energy we have within ourselves and share. With some people I can have a long relation and one bump in the road breaks up everything.
    With others, they can mess up time and again and still I can put things aside and love them with all my heart. It is not that I totally forget what happend but it is just a memory.

    To describe energy is kinda hard, it is something everybody carries in her- or himself. The thing that attracts or alienate, the thing that makes one feel safe or on guard.

    Wow, this is difficult to put into words. Let me ponder a little bit longer. Maybe I can give you than an answer that makes to bit more sense.

  11. n. t. wright does my favorite book on forgiveness called evil and the justice of it...the thing is (for me) that forgiving does not require me to let it happen i can forget it in the sense that i dont hold it against you or expect justice to be raked across your head...but it does not mean i have to allow you to walk all over me...if that makes any sense...

  12. To forgive and forget was not an easy practice.... it still is not an easy practice.. But as time has gone by I have had to forgive and forget so that i can move on in my experience or life.
    Sweeping it under the rug is not forgiving nor is it forgetting it is accumulating....
    I have had to forgive in order to move on and forget in order to make new experiences.....

  13. I really dont know if we really can forgive and forget. We often think we have forgiven but the very memory of the hurt a person has caused us can make us bitter. Is that really forgiving leave alone forgetting? But there are people we forgive and forget and continue to have relationship with them. It is very paradoxical. Depends often how close you have been to that person. After all it is the people we love that can hurt us the most.

  14. "...we unanimously agreed that while forgiving and forgetting is easy with some individuals, it can be completely impossible with some."

    I don't wish to be taken the wrong way on this but I read a lot of blogs of the self analysing/theraputic types, and I see the writers struggling to come to terms with shit that has happened to themselves during the course of growing up.
    I've forgiven and forgotten all,(OK, there's some sadness but that's just a minor memory) realising years ago that what happens to us, happens to many, and in many cases there's always someone worse off.
    We need to accept,forgive, forget, move on,and grow stronger for it. Concentrate on positive energies, and you'll attract positive energy, good fortune will be attracted.
    But it starts with accepting that the first person you forgive is yourself.

  15. I spend as little time and effort on the past as possible. My life is right now and I don't like to waste the moment.

  16. lately i've successfully worked on forgiving myself and evntually forgetting what it was. Forgiving others is really hard, and as long as you don't forgive you can't forget. So both things go together...

  17. I dont think it has to do with the individual; rather it has to do with the ownership of the offense. I have forgiven and forgotten offenses, major offenses when the "offender" has owned their mistake. On the other hand, I find it difficult if not impossible to forgive someone who justifies their actions.

  18. Though it's hard, I know that forgiveness is the healthiest thing. I struggle with it though!

  19. Well, it is not that easy to both forgive and forget simultaneously. I don't know whether you remember or not ma'am, but I once mentioned to you earlier that I am trying a few things which are quite difficult. Even 'to forgive and forget' is one of those. Though I felt it was very difficult at first, as I was continuing to do so, I noticed how light my heart was feeling. And gives me peace of mind. So, I mostly try to forgive and forget most of the things you see.....

  20. Definitely like you. For me, the person who has wronged me must be worth my forgiveness. Only the wud I even remotely think of forgiving. Forgetting is out of question. Yes, but if I see that person in trouble or suffering because of any other reason, i would just comfort myself that it's the circle of life that's making him pay and probably then, I would both forgive and forget.
    :) Strange na? but that's how I am.

  21. Maybe for some of us, forgiving and forgetting is easy but for some others may not be. To forgive is to forget, but I don't think it's as easy as that way. Normally, we forgive yeah, but we don't really forget the wrong done. So for me, I don't really think much of the past, what matters is the present and just enjoy what's in store at the moment. ;) Cheers, Susan! xoxox

  22. I can forgive, but I wouldn't even try to forget as it's not possible.

    If I feel very hurt by someone and he/she asks forgiveness, I'll say : OK, I forgive you, but now your problem is to pray to God and ask Him forgiveness as He doesn't like the way you've treated me. Mentioning God gives the whole concept of forgiveness a broader and stronger dimension.

  23. AG:

    I hear you, AG. With some it's just easier. I guess I'm more like you. I can forgive but forgetting is a bit difficult. Blame it on the memory.


    For me the wrong does not matter. I just can't forget.

  24. Larry:

    Forgiving is divine and I do it but can't forget, you see. I won't bring it up but it remains.
    Thanks for sharing your very personal experience here. It is quite unfortunate that it happened. I always think of forgiveness and death. Moving on is easier but not forgetting.


    True. I can remain with a person and not bring up any of their wrongs but I won't forget.

  25. Ash:

    I am like you, Ash. But I don't allow any mention of the past to creep up. Sometimes I find it strange that even after forgiving and letting go, I remember. As I mentioned earlier, blame it on the strong memory.


    Only god can forgive completely and also forget. Steve, your opinions spring from your experience of life. How can they be stupid?

  26. Jagdish:

    It does vary Everything has degrees. Thanks for coming by Jagdish.


    Age . . . age does it to all of us. I hear your thoughts.

  27. Nevine:

    Quite true Nevine. You have raised many important issues on this subject. Your comments always are a value addition to my posts. Thanks Nevine. Hope you have a wonderful week.
    Joy always :)



    How well you have described the process. I like the entry of energy here. I never thought of that. I hear you when you mention "energy." Your answer here made perfect sense, Liz. Thanks for coming by.

  28. Brian:

    What lovely words here. Inspite of not holding it against a person, I don't forget, Brian.


    :) The yogi speaks. How true your words are. It takes exceptional courage and strength.

  29. Rimly:

    Paradox is the way of life, dear Rimly. We cannot escape that.


    What is easy for you is not so for others, Jim. Your experience of life is not everyone's. All of us have different ways and means to move on.

  30. Justin:

    Welcome here. Thanks for coming by. Absolutely :)


    Together??? I can forgive but forgetting, I don't. It is something involuntary. I don't do it consciously. Perhaps as years go on, the intensity of the memory fades.

  31. Myriam:

    Point. When someone justifies their cause when they know it has hurt someone, then it is quite difficult to forgive, let alone forget.


    It is healthy but like exercise, it is difficult to follow.

  32. Nikhila:

    Point taken.


    How nice to see you after a long time :) Hope you have been well. Circle of life definitely exists. I too believe in that.


    To forgive is not to forget. For me both operate differently. I don't think too much of the past but the past definitely has lot of connections with the present and the future.

  33. DUTA:

    God does make all the difference. You have hit the nail on the head, DUTA.

  34. Dear Susan, I am back from my short break as as always, find a great post from you.;)
    I am a total forgiver! I am unable to hold a grudge and I have need to forgive and forget. I have never been able to stay angry for too long and I know that even if I have been wronged, to let that person continue to hold power over me is the last tings I want. Thus I forgive and move on.;)) Even if initially it feels at times impossible, I realize that the human psyche is so resilient and there is a great satisfaction in forgiving - it releases you and sets you free.;)
    Have a lovely Monday dear friend,

  35. I follow something that is like this- "Forgive but never forget!" I never forget. I whole heartedly forgive but once the mistake repeats I quickly recognized it take action.

    Also.. depends on how many times have you forgiven that person.. there is a limit to it too.

    And of course the worth a person to appreciate your effort to forgive them and their corrective course of action.

    Interesting post as always. :)

  36. To err is human, to forgive is very difficult.
    Somehow holding a grudge for a while offers more satisfaction than forgiving too soon.

    So I am human.

    Interesting topic..:)

  37. Zuzana:

    Glad to have you in the loop again. You are a sweetheart. How about forgetting, Zuzana? Do you forget as well?



    You are so much like me. So many connections and differences we humans have. Wonderful, isn't it.

  38. BM:

    After a very long time. Hope you are doing well. I have often thought of you and your comments.

    I like the reowrded saying: "To forgive is difficult." Love your honesty and outspokenness.

    Joy always :)

  39. I am enjoying your words and thoughts immensely.

    Forgive, of course, good for all. Forgetting is a completely different animal. Compares, to me, to carrying a gun around for protection but not loading it or having a walking bridge available and wading across the river. Remembering is a very important aspect survival.

  40. Dear Observer:

    I am so much in love with teh title of your blog. Thanks for coming by here and welcome to the meanderings.

    Your last line is quite true and very powerful, indeed "Remembering is a very important aspect of survival."

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