Should we Forgive & Forget?

We are most vulnerable when we are broken. This is a fact. In those initial moments, and perhaps several to follow, we experience pain, maybe physical- most certainly emotional.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a heart break, a failed project, or a lost friendship; besides ice cream and sobbing, the treatment that is often prescribed is: forgive, forget– move on.

I read an article the other day that got me thinking about how forgiving and forgetting might not be the smartest way to move on.

When we forgive someone, and try to forget the sequence of events that happened, we marginalize the impact that that particular incident had on our life. Sure- trying to stuff the thoughts in the very back of your mind might work, but something somewhere will remind you of that particular incident and all those feelings will come flooding back. And you’ll hurt, all over again.

There is another solution. There is another way to move on. Accept what happened.

Acceptance doesn’t ask us to minimize the gravity of the situation, nor does it insist that we exonerate those whom, in their selfishness, may have caused us pain.*

Acceptance allows us to acknowledge: I was hurt, and grow from it. No- I do not expect you to accept why something happened the way it did, but you can grow to accept what happened. This too is a fact.

If you think about it, after all that pain that you have already endured– working on accepting what happened is a better way to channel your anger, frustration and sadness than simply forgetting what happened. And perhaps one day you will realize, you didn’t just manage to move on- you grew stronger & more compassionate.

My inspiration to synthesize this piece came from my reading of a Thought Catalogue Article and my thoughts.

*Quote adapted from Article

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