“Forgive” they tell you. “Forget” they insist.
The spiritual thinkers claim that forgiveness is key to healing.
How could I doubt them? How could I ever think that forgiveness is not necessary to heal?
But since I am not a spiritual thinker, or a guru and never will be … I can say that forgiveness is a nice-to-have experience, but not necessary for living a big, full life.
When my husband died a few things took place that were absolutely unforgivable and of course unforgettable. Eight years later I still think about those things, but they have no emotional charge. They don’t impact my life.
Did I “forgive” them? Not really. Did I forget? No, not at all. But it is now a non-issue. Why? How is that possible?
Because, if I go back and go through a forgiveness process, talk to these people about what happened and blah blah blah … I would be turning myself back. I would be revisiting something that is so behind me. I don’t forgive or forget, but I do see it all from a different vantage point now.
I know … you probably want me to explain how to get there yourself and my answer to that is, to get there, you must know yourself. You must trust yourself, find your inner sense of “the truth” and then stand in it with grace.
For me, forgiveness is finding the ability and the courage to move past it because I know better than to hold on and stay stuck. However, if you have no choice but to have these people in your life, there is one thing that I learned recently—being able to look with humanity towards someone who has done the unforgivable is the key to moving on. It is the key to healing.
You don’t necessarily forgive or forget, you just remember to still be human towards the people who hurt you. That’s it. Treat everyone according to your standards, including the ones who hurt you. And then walk away. No emotional charge. No regrets. No revenge. No anger.
Just a simple knowing of who you are and why you show up in the world the way you do.
Forgiveness is overrated. But holding on to your values, especially with people who hurt you, is priceless (and powerful).
I could never forgive certain people in my life, but I can still treat them with respect and smile at them knowing who I was then, who I am now, and how I’ve grown as a result of that experience.
So, the next time you have to interact with or sit next to someone who you cannot forgive, look at them from the part of your soul that knows who they are, but most importantly knows who you are.
And that is when you give them your biggest most glorious smile.