Up until a few days ago, I never bought into the “forgiving and forgetting” philosophy. Especially the forgetting part. I had no problem forgiving people, it was actually quite easy; I just had a problem with forgetting what they did, especially if I had any form of emotional investment in said people. For one singular reason; to ensure that whatever the wrong was, it never repeated itself.
I believed memories were there to serve as guidance, reference points if you will, to future actions. So if for instance you had a girlfriend who cheated on you, and you found out and forgave her OR ended the relationship; not forgetting ensured if you came across the signs again you could address the issue before it grew horns (erm…you guys shouldn’t jump to conclusions biko. There are no ex-girlfriends in this story).
But here’s the thing. Time heals all wounds yeah? How does that work? By ensuring you forget. Memories don’t just disappear, over time they are covered up by new ones; the way an oyster covers up a piece of dirt that finds its way into its shell layer upon layer until it creates a pearl. It’s God’s own way of ensuring we don’t run insane with all the memories of old hurts, because believe me, there are people’s whose skeletons will scare the crap out of your own skeletons if both your skeletons ever had the pleasure of meeting. So over time, if you allow it, and you allow God, a bad experience becomes a bad memory, which will in turn become distant.
But that’s the thing right? You have to allow it. After spending some time thinking about it, I’ve begun to understand that there’s a difference between learning from a previous bad experience and letting it shape you after letting it go and holding on to said experience and building your world around it. Forgetting means letting go. That means when you see that individual again it’s like he or she never offended you. Kinda the way God treats us after we come running back to Him from our numerous goofs over and over again.
This is the part I had problem with, especially when some idiots (forgive my French) either thought they were too big to apologize or they didn’t even acknowledge the fact that they’ve offended a brother. But refusing to forget means you refuse to let go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about malice. Malice breeds resentment, bitterness, revenge; all those nasty little critters hiding in the dark corners of the human psyche.
Refusing to forget on the other hand blinds you to the beauty of other human beings. It puts blinkers on you, rose colored glasses if you will because you’ll always judge others by your bad past experience(s). It’ll make moving on very difficult because you’re chained to your past. Literally.
So yes, I’ve adopted the “forgetting” part of that philosophy; because it’s time I let go of some of the baggage I’ve been carrying around. And frankly I’m getting too old to be holding on to past BS.
I hope my rant has made sense to you guys, and I also hope there’s that one reader who will create a pearl out of his/her bad experiences.
Would love to hear from you guys.