Forgive and Forget


I was watching our two middle offsprings play the other day, and within minutes, they swung from play to slay, as one felt wronged by the other, and screamed to let this wrongdoing be known to anyone within earshot (or possibly driving distance, given the octaves that were reached). As an overprotective mother of four, I dashed in to save the day, and to get the maiming child to apologise to the screaming maimed child with absolute immediate effect. And then, in my annoyance and anger, I realised that there was no need for me to don a cape and dash in to save the day, all was peaceful again. As quickly as the hurt had happened, it was forgiven, forgotten and moved on from. Best Friends Forever status back in play, leaving me looking like a right old pleb, standing in the middle of two perfectly happy children.

Children can forgive and forget so readily, and as parents, we too forgive our children so easily for their wrongs and bad behaviour (or learning curves, if you prefer). They say sorry, we say it is okay really, and we go on to love and accept each other once again, and try to live happily ever after, until the next time.

As we age, we can often become over sensitive to the words and behaviours of others towards us; clinging on to an upset, misunderstood conversation, difference of opinion, a betrayal, loss, or other negative experience. Now, just as a slight aside, I am not going to name any names here, but those close to me will know that over the recent years, I have become highly intolerant of victims. We are not talking of victims in the term of those who have faced harm, hurt, or death, due to war, crime or another detrimental life-changing event. No, I am intolerant of the victims, who really do not have any right to belittle the term ‘victim’ the whingebags who claim that they cannot possibly forgive, forget or move on. And when we talk of moving on, it is from things, like the fact that someone said they could not sit on a certain chair at work that they really wanted to sit on so now they do not know if they can face going into work ever again, the type of person who was dumped for a Drumstick lolly bribe in the school playground over twenty-three years ago and it is why they have never been able to hold down a relationship since the age of nine and alas they are a victim of lost love, or the person who silently just seems to scream “me, me, me” about any conversation you may attempt to have with them, but whose specialist subject is one-upmanship, so you have a cold, they have had some rare debilitating flu, and on and on and on they go. Bloody well build a bridge, get over it, you are not a victim, you are a self-centred moron wasting a perfectly good life.

Anyway, I digress somewhat. Forgive and forget. Yes, it may well sound easier said than done, almost somewhat unnatural to some, but hear me out. Sometimes, when we forgive others, we are actually forgiving ourselves in the process too. I once read that “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” With forgiveness, we are not saying that what has happened is okay with you, and you do not need to bear hug, high five, or even have that person in your life as validation, you are just making peace with the experience and the pain, and then moving on. Whilst you are holding on to the past, that is exactly where you will be stuck, forgive, forget and move forward. It is said to err is human, but to forgive is divine, so go forth with a clear head, whilst looking divine and bursting with positivity, if only because it will really annoy others, which is a particular favourite past time of mine.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Gandhi

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