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Don’t You Dare Forget Those People Who Hurt You

We often hear that we are supposed to forgive and forget. While I do appreciate the benefits of forgiving as a way to cease feeling resentment against those who hurt us, I do not believe it is possible or healthy to try and forget.  The memories may continue for the rest of your life but that does not mean you must continue to give them power.

At 57 I still remember hurtful things from over 50 years ago. Yet by forgiving (releasing the bitterness and anger for what I think should have been different and how other people should have known better) I am no longer emotionally attached to the memories that occasionally surface. When a memory does come into my consciousness, instead of allowing myself to relive the hurt, anger and pain, I remind myself, “I have forgiven you. You no longer have power over me in this moment.” Then I shift my attention to something else. I do not allow myself to remain in the past. I do not allow myself to wallow in what was back then, and ruin what is real now, in the present.

This week remember that forgiveness is an ongoing, life-long process. Releasing our resentment does not mean we condone what happened or discharge those who hurt us from the karmic liability they have for their actions. Forgiveness is the action of intentionally moving ourselves beyond the resentment and anger so the memories no longer hurt our present.

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