Understanding How to Forgive and Forget


Before you can determine how to forgive, you must have a clear understanding of what it means to forgive. So many people may have their own opinions and personal definitions of the word, which is why it is imperative for us to look at the actual definition of the word to see what it should mean for us and everyone else that have the desire to be able to forgive someone for anything.

“To Grant Pardon”

A lot of people seem to have the attitude today that if you treat me bad, I’m going to treat you bad. If you hit me, I’ll hit you back. If you’re not talking to me, then I’m not talking to you. Is this attitude a good one to have when it comes to building or maintaining relationships with each other? Not at all. It is this type of attitude that builds walls and barriers between people, dividing and breaking their relationships apart to a point of non-existence.

The other quality that is mentioned here is that of tolerance. How much can you tolerate from another person? Do you have a “3 strikes” policy with your friends and family members, where if they hurt you 3 times, they are “cut off” and “cut out” of your life? Would implementing a policy like this in your life allow you to be able to forgive and forget what these people may have done to you in the past? Of course not!

When a pardon is granted, that is something that is permanent. If a state governor grants a full pardon of a convicted prisoner’s crimes, they can’t decide to change their minds the very next day just because their thoughts or feelings on the situation may have changed.

“To Cease To Feel Resentment”

This is an area that a lot of people either forget about or choose to overlook all together. They will say that they have forgiven someone for what they have done, but then they will continue to have resentment about that person. They may talk about them negatively with other people or still have feelings of anger towards them that they conceal deeply within themselves instead of dealing with those feelings properly. Your resentment will build up inside of you and become a weighty burden that will require more of your own energy to maintain every day – energy that could have been used for something more positive if you would have just released that burden from the very beginning.

In Order To Forgive, You HAVE To Forget

Many people may think that the concept of “forgive and forget” is unrealistic since you will always be able to remember what a person did to you – regardless of how much time passes.

The emotional scars left by childhood bullies can sometimes stay with a person for the rest of their lives. You may still be best friends with someone who hurt you deeply in the past, constantly being reminded of how they hurt you. Think about the survivors of a murder victim. Even if they are able to forgive the person responsible for their lost loved one, the memory of what they did will more than likely follow them to their graves as well.

Therefore, if you look at the idea of “forgive and forget” in the sense of “forgive and don’t remember,” it is very easy to be confused and not believe that this is something that could ever be possible. However, is this the only way that you should think of this? Let’s take a quick look at the meaning of the word “forget” to see if there is any valuable information that could possibly shed light on this dark topic for us.

The most familiar definition of the word “forget” is to “cease or fail to remember.” This is something that cannot be necessarily controlled by the individual. For instance, do you purposely forget where you left your keys when you came home? No, this is something that just happens unintentionally. Other familiar definitions of the word “forgive” also focus on actions that cannot be controlled. These include “to omit or neglect intentionally” and “to leave behind unintentionally.”

However, there are some definitions of the word “forgive” that are not as familiar as the others. These definitions focus on the actions that are intentionally controlled and are the definitions that we need to hone in on for further understanding.

Forgive ALL People & ALL Situations

Should forgiveness have any limitations? Are there any exceptions to what situations can be forgiven or which people should be forgiven? By definitions, forgiveness should not have any limits. Even though it may be more and more difficult to achieve based on the specific situation at hand, it is possible to be able to achieve forgiveness for all people in all situations. How?

What steps can you take in order to be able to forgive someone who you can’t stand?

The main thing that you want to do is truly figure out why you cannot stand that person. Maybe it is something that happened in the past that was never fully resolved. Maybe you had an argument with them years ago that did not end well and created the barricade wall between you two that has only grown taller and taller as time went on. If that is the case, why not focus on resolving that issue first? Having an open conversation about the issue may bring you both some closure and peace in order for you to move forward as friends or at least as “functional acquaintances.” We use that term because it’s important to know that you are not going to be friends with everyone that you meet. It is just not the way of the world for that to even be realistic in today’s society.
However, being friends with someone is not necessary in order to be able to forgive them. You can still be at peace with someone even if you may never speak to them again. Nonetheless, that peace will make it easier for you to be able to forgive them for whatever they have done. The key, then, is to find peace with the person that you cannot stand.

If you constantly find yourself in disagreements with that person, just remember that not everyone is going to agree with everything that you think or feel. Sometimes, agreeing to disagree is the most amicable resolution possible that will allow you to be able to maintain that peace between the two of you and move forward with your life without being weighed down with the burden of never forgiving them.

You Have To Forgive Yourself FIRST

It is extremely easy for people to forget that the first person that they need to be able to forgive is themselves. That is the only way that we will be able to truly know the value and importance of forgiveness, because we would then be able to implement it into our own lives first and foremost.