To forgive and forget sounds like a simple premise, but in practice, it can be one of the most difficult things in the world. We know, deep down within us, that by forgiving others (or ourselves!) we can move forward with our lives without hate in our hearts. It makes us lighter and more accepting of love and happiness.
Now, I’m a huge advocate of forgiveness, it really can change the way you live your life. But I will never forget. By forgetting, you open yourself up to being walked all over in the future. Forgiveness is as much for us as the other person. You can, and should, forgive the people in your life that have hurt you, but you should never forget.
We all reach a point in our lives where we realise the true impact that forgiveness can have upon our well-being. By letting go of the dark cloud within us, we are able to truly live our lives the way we wish to. You forgive for yourself, not the person who has wronged you.
This is my story of battling with forgiveness…
I got married when I was 28 years old. I was in love with my husband and followed him around the world, wherever his work took him. Our life was fabulous. We had two beautiful girls and eventually settled down in the UK. We were surrounded by friends, I was the mother I’d always wanted to be, and I truly thought that life had worked out for me. Fast forward a couple of years and I found out that my husband was cheating on me with one of my friends. Of course, my world shattered.
I was so angry with him for what he’d done to our family. But I was also angry with myself for not noticing the red flags sooner. When you are hurt, we human beings have a tendency to look inwards and blame ourselves. I now know that I am not to blame for my ex-husband’s actions. It took a long time for me to recover. The anger and betrayal caused me to turn to drink. One day I looked at myself and was unhappy with what I’d become. I was miserable and irritable and getting into unhealthy habits. Something had to change. I had to forgive him and move on.
I learned that forgiving him didn’t mean I had to forget what he’d done to me. But for my own sake, and the sake of our children, we had to move on and be friendly with one another. When I came to this realization, I immediately felt lighter. I started looking towards the future instead of dwelling on the past. I became happier than I had been in a long time.
It’s never too late to forgive…
Forgiveness is something very personal to us. It is an intrinsic process and often requires us to gain some perspective and insight into ourselves. The process of forgiveness means that we are able to think of whatever happened without it causing us negative implications. Not carrying a grudge is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. It doesn’t mean that you become a doormat, it means you become a happier and healthier person. Remember, forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.
“Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.”
– William Arthur Ward