A key principle to remain light and stable in relationships is – ‘forgive and forget’ – it’s a well-known principle – one that we sometimes find difficult to practice.
It can be modified to ‘forgive to forget’. Sometimes we spend many years with so much bitterness inside us for a particular person, with an inner violence of wanting to make the other ‘pay’ (emotions of revenge), the one who has supposedly hurt you. If you don’t strike back immediately, you at least want to keep this ‘guilt card’ in your pocket, to be pulled out at a later date: “Oh yes, well what about the time when you….” We keep this bitterness inside us because we haven’t forgiven.
It does not resolve the situation; the only thing it does is increase our pain, makes us heavy and does not let us remain in peace. So the key is that if we do not forgive, we cannot forget. When someone has offended or insulted us, the last thing we want to do is to let it go. And yet, if our desire is to have a healthy, lasting relationship, that is exactly what we’ve got to do.
Sometimes, when it is a question of a broken relationship, it is not only a matter of forgiving the other, but of forgiving yourself for having allowed yourself to enter that experience. It was you that took the step to allow that experience to be entered into. If you hadn’t taken that step, you wouldn’t have had that experience. You accepted that challenge, that relationship, and what might happen in it – you were aware of the possibilities when you entered in the relationship.
So not only do you have to learn to forgive the other, but also to forgive yourself in such situations. Only then will you be able to forget.
~ So Forgive to Forget
~ Rajiv M