Learn the alchemy
true human beings know.
The moment you accept
what troubles you’ve been given,
the door will open.
For most of my life, I have been told that once you forgive, you should forget. “It’s the only way true forgiveness is achieved,” they’ve explain.
I have to respectfully disagree. Forgive doesn’t mean forget. Yes, forgiveness should entail releasing the old, however to suggest you need to forget is counterproductive. To forget would mean you could, and probably would, commit the same “mistakes” over and over again. This has happened to me plenty of times. I’ll find myself in a difficult spot and think, “Why does this keep happening to me?” Does that sound familiar?
When we do not forgive others, it’s as if we are carrying a bag of rocks on our backs. We hold on to the pains and betrayals that weigh us down and keep us from moving forward. We often do not realize that by withholding forgiveness, we only harm ourselves – not others. We hold on to energies and thoughts that no longer serve us, but keep our hearts guarded. So guarded, in fact, that we keep ourselves from living or feeling fully. This is an emotional and spiritual starvation that keeps us alienated and lonely.
Please understand: for your sake, you must forgive. You will find freedom across the threshold of forgiveness. By forgiving, you give yourself the permission to rise above the pain and become empowered by it, rather than crippled by it. However, do not forget the lesson, or the injury.
Life is always here to teach us. All people – if we so choose to see it this way – are here to teach us. The people who have hurt us are here to teach us, often more so than the people who do not hurt us. Why do I say this? Because they challenge us to be enough for ourselves. They are mirrors that encourage us to look within and heal the wounds and traumas that have kept us afraid. There are powerful lessons in betrayals. We begin to learn our worth, and the treatment we are willing to take from others. We begin to care for ourselves more deeply and truly. This, in turn, begins to shape who we allow into our lives. This is growth and understanding. This would not be possible if we forgave and forgot.
Remember the lessons you learned – do not relinquish that knowledge. It’s powerful and full of rich wisdom. Integrate it into your thoughts and your life, always in light of forgiveness. Only then are these memories and awareness used to catapult us into our powerful and authentic self. To remember without forgiving would be to constantly relive an experience that shames us. It would promote an inner dialogue of pain and resentment. However, if there is forgiveness, the memories no longer carry pain, they carry truths.
Everything comes back to you. You must be your priority, your friend, and your protector. Allow yourself the freedom of forgiveness, and the wisdom of remembering. Only then will you evolve.