Why It's Important To Forgive But Not Forget
Self Love

It’s Totally Possible, And OK, To Forgive—But Not Forget

Refusing to forgive and refusing to forget are NOT one and the same.

398
It’s Totally Possible, And OK, To Forgive—But Not Forget
https://unsplash.com/photos/zQQ6Y5_RtHE

"Forgive and forget," a common enough phrase—one which I feel is overused due to its simple flow and catchy phrasing, not to mention people love alliteration. Regardless, it's thrown around too generally and preaches a message which is completely adverse when it comes to one's own sanity.

I agree with the first half of the saying—forgive. There's no point in bearing a grudge, it clogs up your memory with negativity, something that should be dispelled, not held in. Moreover, forgiving is healthy! According to the Mayo Clinic the benefits of forgiveness include:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Improved mental health
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • A stronger immune system
  • Improved heart health
  • Improved self-esteem --- you can read the article here.

With so many positive side effects, its hard to imagine why exactly people have such a hard time forgiving. Yet many find it exceptionally difficult.

Forgiveness is never easy, especially if you effortlessly hold a grudge. Either way, it's important to recognize the futility in holding onto anger, desires of revenge, etc…

By clinging to this hostility, refusing to forgive, the only person you're hurting is yourself.

Yet the second half, I just can't uphold—forget. "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results:" a quote famously misattributed to Albert Einstein, but actually originated by Rita Mae Brown. It's origin is beside the point, but what does this all-too-common saying have to do with "forgetting?"

When you forget, you essentially "forget" the person ever wronged you, "forget" she has a tendency to lie or cheat or utter harsh words or stab you in the back. You "forget" he is capable of harming you.

The quote could be: "Insanity is choosing to forget the same thing over and over again and expecting a change of character:" Allowing the same person to treat you the same way over and over again, yet expecting things to be better.

When someone repeatedly makes the same hurtful decisions, you can be pretty sure it's just in their character—a trait that probably won't change anytime soon.

The fact of the matter is, forgetting opens you up to vulnerability. Sure, there are certain circumstances in which it's totally fine to forget—your sister steals your shirt, your best friend says something hurtful, your boyfriend does something mean. When to forget is open to your judgement. If you ask me: base forgiveness on the severity and \ number of occurrences.

If you continually "forget," you leave yourself vulnerable to suffering the same treatment at the hands of the same person. Insanity.

By forgetting the way(s) someone has treated you in the past, the only person you're hurting is yourself.

Refusing to forgive and refusing to forget are NOT one and the same. Refusing to forgive means holding onto a grudge, allowing negativity to permeate your life. Refusing to forget means sparing yourself from the same maltreatment you've suffered in the past.

So next time someone urges you to forgive and forget, remember that it's okay not to forget—you're not vengeful or resentful, you're simply protecting yourself from a toxic person.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

It wasn't until I hit 23 years old that I started getting hangovers. It could've been from two glasses of wine or even a margarita at happy hour, the next day, consider me bed-bound until further notice.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Urban Dictionary, a "simp" is defined as "a man that puts himself in a subservient/submissive position under women in the hopes of winning them over, without the female bringing anything to the table." There are many other definitions for a "simp," but basically it's shaming men who are kind to women without getting anything in return.

Let's just stop attacking nice men. Work out your own issues, don't project your shortcomings onto another man. What happened to the brotherhood? Y'all can lie for each other, but can't raise each other up? You guys can encourage murder, gang rape, and violence against women — or at least stay silent about it — but can't let your brother know it ain't cool when they bring you down for being nice to women with no expectation?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Self-Love Is The Best Love, That's Just How It Is

Do you ever feel like you can't please everyone? Self-love will do the trick.

I've been feeling a little down lately, with the understanding that friends don't last forever and that I can't always please my parents. Life has been rough for everyone lately and it's not easy to stay happy and optimistic during these times. But I promise you, you are on this earth for a reason. You are here because God formed you, to love, and to be loved.

When things are tough, realize that you have yourself always. No one can take that away from you. You will always be you. No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you've been in life, at the end of the day, you are you. You can love you, therefore giving you one reason to stay here on this Earth.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Caribbean is a place where people go for vacation, but if you set out from a cruise ship you miss out on all the beautiful culture. Their exotic beaches are nothing without their zinging food and hospitality. Locals in the Caribbean are warmhearted with a zest to live life to the fullest.

This is exactly where most of their words and phrases come from, having a good time. I definitely enjoyed myself living in the Caribbean, but it's not always about lounging. They get work done too and I've learned proper phrases for accomplishments.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In August For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your end of summer binge-watch list.

Flower Films, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema

August is here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones. Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during August.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Living With Bipolar Disorder Is An Everyday Battle, But I'm Fighting It

I went from depression, to anxiety, to bipolar disorder.

I've thought about how to write this since my diagnosis. I've thought about what kind of feelings it might bring up from my mom, former friends, and even myself. I've rewritten it a thousand times in my head, but never could quite get the words onto my notepad, but tonight I'm going to sit down and write it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

There's No Reason To Delay The 2020 Election Because Mail-In Votes Count Just The Same

Plus, Trump can't actually the delay the election even if he tried.

Donald Trump started Thursday out in a fury, taking to Twitter to suggest the 2020 election be delayed.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Nobody Wants To Grieve, But That's The Price We Pay For Love

Grief never comes when you think it should. It comes when a certain song comes on or the sun shines through the window just right.

Death always seems to come when life is good and everything starts to be going alright. And then out of nowhere, you're reminded of how cruel life can be. The stages of grief don't always go in order, they come in waves or all at once. Grief never comes when you think it should. It comes when a certain song comes on or the sun shines through the window just right. I take comfort in the fact that everyone experiences grief, even when you feel all alone knowing that everyone goes through a process that helps a little bit.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

I'm A Black, Gay Fashion Lover Who Grew Up In The South, And I Want To Be A Beacon For The Future

Giving your life story is never easy, but it can be, if you want to make a difference.

Jacorey Moon

Growing up in Georgia was not always the accepting place we know it to be today thanks to Atlanta. Let me preface this by saying, I had a pretty good life growing up. I was raised by a single mother who sacrificed so that I could live the life that I lived. I was spoiled rotten. One way that my mother spoiled me was through clothing.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments