๐Ÿ’”[Relationship Series] Can We Forgive and Forget?

2 April 2020


Forgiveness... I used to think it was something as simple as saying, "I forgive you." but it turns out that it needs a whole lot more of myself too. It’s complicated because the whole process of forgiving can make and break you, but what will pull you through is how how ready your heart is to forgive. Forgiveness can free you from heartaches, resentment and pain when you’re willing to let go of hurting someone back, but without it, you could be left with the pain and anger simmering for a lifetime.

I'm writing this post because I believe forgiving others is the hardest thing for me to do. I say this truthfully because I’m still learning to accept the fact that forgiveness would be good for me and for the decisions I make in the present and for the tomorrows. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic and it was left in my draft for almost a week because I wanted to be in the right mindset before I do start writing my perspectives about forgiveness and forgetting.

People have hurt me in the past and I’m sure it must have happened to you many times before. What has been keeping me back is that I thought, if I forgive too easily, then I’m letting the persons who have hurt me “free”while their actions brand on me forever.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is about more than simply letting go of the cause of your pain. Forgiving is about freeing that other person while also releasing yourself from the negative emotions that weigh you down. Hatred leaves an ugly feeling inside each of us and if you notice, it makes US feel horrible. It almost feels like you’re becoming somebody else you don’t know and your life doesn’t feel the same way like how it used to be. For me personally, I can only hold so much hate for someone not longer than a few hours or a day, because hating takes so much of my time, energy and thoughts. It feels emotionally and psychologically exhausting. I think that instead of becoming somebody my mind and body struggles to live by through hatred, forgiveness can at the very least brings some relief so that the resentment won’t eat away at my heart.

Forgive and Forget?

This also brings us back to the phrase, “Forgive and forget”. Do we also need to forget what the person and the wronged actions he/she did to us? The thing about forgiveness is that it doesn’t happen by forgetting the wrong instead, it’s about stopping the negativity of hate and want of vengeance from controlling you. If you were to prefer forgetting, it provides temporary relief but at some point in your life, you’d be occupied to put forward your energy in ignoring the pain rather than facing it. To forget the pain, it has to start from forgiving. Forgetting pain can come after once we have come to fully accept your circumstances. However, again, in my opinion, forgiveness does not mean the pain becomes non-existent because it only helps to ease you from the pain and leave the memories behind.

However, having said that, you are also not obliged to fix or stay longer in a toxic relationship, or wait for that someone to change. There is no need for you to get back and reconcile to the same person who has hurt you. You have spared yourself the hurt by letting go and at the same time, you don’t need find their actions acceptable or justifiable. Forgiveness heals you from the power of the other person from controlling you and how you feel.

How Do I Forgive Someone?
1. Recognise Your Pain and Emotions


It’s really hard to face raw emotions and it is also the reason why most of us tend to choose to ignore them, hoping that they would go away if we try not to think about them for as long as we could. All the same, your pain and emotions are valuable human experiences and just like everything about you, they deserve to be recognised and given attention to. You will feel exposed, yes, but at least now you will know how you’re feeling about the person who has hurt you and the actions they’ve done.

It'll be scary at the beginning to allow yourself to feel, but it will get better. Once you've accepted the emotion, you know it can't hunt you down again. Then, reflect on why you feel affected by what they did and once you stop resisting your own pain, you’ll have a clearer mind in what to do next.

2. Give Yourself Time to Heal


Forgiveness doesn’t have to come instantly.
I don’t think everybody is capable of that and I admit I don’t think I can be that forgiving with a snap of the fingers. At the very least, I need time to wrap my head around what happened, how I feel towards the issue and then I can think straight. You can’t force yourself to forgive like how you cannot pressure somebody else to do the same. If you need more time to reflect, to digest your situation better, by all means, do whatever you need to come to terms with yourself and the person who offended you.

There are some of us who need more time forgive ourselves before we can do the same to others. Some of us beat ourselves for what happened, wondered why we didn’t predict what was to happen, and how we could let it happen to us etc. We need to come to the realisation that we did the best that we could in that situation and we can live through this, just like how we managed to live through all the other obstacles we faced before.

3. And Now, We Think About The Other Person


This might be as difficult as it is to accept our emotions. In this step, we need to put ourselves in that other person's shoes. That’s right, the very person who has hurt you. We have to admit that people can be imperfect and act irrationally, just like how we have our own moments of the same behaviour. Forgiveness needs us to understand the other person and that nobody can be perfect or pleasant at all times. We have hurt our friends or family too but we preserve those special relationships because we forgive them as well as willing to understand, and vice versa. We all need forgiveness and that includes the person who has hurt you.

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Forgiveness can be a long process. It won’t or rarely happens overnight. Nor does it take a couple of encouraging words from your part or someone else’s for you to forgive somebody who has hurt you. Whatever the situation, you’re just as hurt as that person is scarred from what they’ve done to you. To move on from the past, to enjoy the time you have in the present, you need to forgive. As Carolin Mรผller said in INSIDER, “Our life is so short, but if you live only in the past you can never enjoy your present." 

References:
Psychentral // INSIDER // Psychology Today // Mayo Clinic // Medium

17 comments

  1. (On relationship)
    To me, forgiveness needs courage. And it's never easy to gain that very courage to forgive. I agree with all your points, how we should embrace the emotion, of what happened in order to forgive and move forward. It's not easy but it can be done, depending on 'time will heal'. But to forget is another thing and I could never do it. That's why I don't believe in second chance because even if you give the person a second chance, you'll always be reminded of the past that he hurt you so you couldn't enjoy the happiness after that in the same way again.

    (On friendship)
    This is my experience. I had a huge argument with a friend before and we didn't talk for years. I thought that we could never be friends again since the damage done was so great it affected both of us so so bad. Turned out, we could reconcile just by talking to each other. Talked about what happened and how sorry we were towards each other. Nope, we couldn't forget what happened, but surprisingly we could make a joke out of it nowadays.

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    1. Hello Lya! Thank you for dropping by and sharing with me your own thoughts about this topic. I have to agree with you on your constructive points. Forgiveness is important for us to move on and enjoy the life that we have now. Sometimes, like in your experience, forgiveness can also mend relationships with our friends. Forgetting is definitely difficult and for some, understandably impossible. However, forgiveness does not equate to forgetting the pain we felt. It teaches us to stay away from being at the receiving end of what hurts us. I hope you're doing better now despite how things turned out for you in the past.
      :3

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  2. Nice writing..
    the best way to forgive someone is to make sincere Dua' for them..

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    1. Hello Haziqah!! Thank you for dropping by and reading my post. :)
      I'm with you 100% on your point. I hope through prayers we can get through our hardships and the persons who hurt us may move on to become better individuals.

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  3. I believe in relationship forgive is the most important and yes, sometimes we need time, lets time be heal. In relationship, i awalys blame on me because i think everyone is better than me. When the relationship fail, it is hard to forgive myself. The forget part, i think we should not forget because i believe we learn from the past.

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    1. Hello Nadia! Gosh, I hope you're in a better state of mind after what happened. It must have been a hard time for you. Yes, perhaps with more time, however much you need it to focus on healing yourself and finding the you that you love, you can overcome your sadness. I too don't recommend forgetting the pain we felt as I've said in my post. Forgiveness does not mean we need to forget. Although it is painful, it would help us from receiving the same pain again in the future. Before I end my comment here, I'm wishing you all the best in building your self-love and the feeling to enjoy your life and friendships with others. Every girl deserves her own happiness!

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  4. Im impressed with your grammar. It's so good!! Well, for me, I dont like to keep the revenge on someone so I just forgive them even tho they dont apologies. We gotta be mature too on handling those stuffs. I believe that maybe somedays they will realised all of things that they've done to us and will find a way to fix it back. Im ready to forgive someone but maybe I wont trust them like I used to do. It's also up to the things that they've done too. If it's a simple things then it's okay but if it's a serious things, maybe it will take a lotta times for me to forgive them. Btw, I love your last quotes. ^.^

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    1. Oh my gosh, thank you!!! I agree with you. Just because we forgive someone, it doesn't mean things are guaranteed to go back how it used to be. Sometimes our hearts are ready to forgive just to move on from the pain and not come back, and sometimes we stay if the other person(s) is ready to take charge and do something about the problem. All in all, it's really up to us to take our own pace in forgiving ourselves and others, as well as what we plan to do about it. Hehe And yessss, I love that final quote too! It really got to me so I thought I'd let you guys read it too. :)

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  5. thank you for sharing. i still struggling to forgive and also forget my past. i hope that you stay healthy and safe during this rmo week!

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    1. No worries, there's never any real pressure to speed up forgiveness towards somebody (and ourselves). It takes time and courage to do what you know is right for yourself and the other person.

      Take care of yourself too during this RMO period! Hope to read more of your perspectives in future posts. hehe

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  6. I am with you when you said that hatred takes so much of energy of yourself.

    But, it also takes so much energy to actually forgive someone and forget the things that hurt you.

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    1. I totally agree with you. At the end of the day, it all comes to yourself on whether you're ready to forgive somebody. There's never any pressure for you to adhere to either of those two things. Do what you believe would be best for yourself <3

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  7. i'm easily forgive, but i will never forget.
    samapi sekarang i still trapped in my past :) and it hurts

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    1. Hello Mazni! I hear you. Sometimes, we might not ever be ready to forgive and for some of us, it'll be even harder to forget. I guess in situations like this, we just have to make the best of the life we have now, the friends we're surrounded with who brings out the good in us to enjoy what we have.

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  8. I don't dare to say anything except for how hard it could be.

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    1. I guess it's always hard to generalise what a person should do in a difficult situation. The right thing to do is to forgive but not everybody can do that, sometimes, not even me. It all comes down to yourself and what you think is the right action for you to take. Happy Fasting, Ray! And thanks for dropping by again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  9. i agree with u , forgiving and forget would be harder . but its worth to try . we only causing us tooss ourselves .sacrifice our own happiness would be the bad decision . Moving on and plastered all those broken pieces . New chapter awaiting :)

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