My whole life I’ve grown up hearing the mantra “forgive but don’t forget.” When someone hurts you, don’t hold a grudge, but still remember their actions as to not allow history to repeat itself. Yet after years of forgiving and not forgetting, I can’t do it anymore. I’ve realized that I’m incapable of harboring bad memories in a matter that’s not detrimental to my well-being.
Forgiving is hard.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot get over how people have wronged you. This may lead to thinking that you’d have a better peace of mind if you just hurt these people the way they’ve hurt me. For me personally, I find myself fantasizing about seeking retaliation on exes who broke my heart along with former friends who betrayed me. However, it alarms me that I have the capability to conjure these thoughts and I immediately dismiss them as soon as they arise.
Unpleasant memories occupy a substantial section in my head, a part I’ve tried to isolate in the back corner and suffocate with happier memories. However, as long as I’m still consciously choosing to remember the negatives, the longer they fester inside of me and infiltrate even the positive sections of my mind. For this reason alone, it’s healthier to accept when you’ve been hurt, learn your lesson from it, and then move on. You’re only doing yourself a disservice when I allow it to remain inside.
Forgive people not just for their sake, but for yours.
Animosity is a baggage that will weigh you down until you can no longer stand. As unfortunate as it may sound, someone will inevitably hurt you again no matter how strongly you think you can prevent it. Life is too short to view the glass half empty rather than half full. So here’s to expelling bad memories from your mind and focusing on what’s truly worth remembering.