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Mending a Soul: Forgive and Forget?

Updated on July 3, 2017
(Image courtesy of Djcodrin/
(Image courtesy of Djcodrin/

Every one of us have been in one way or another hurt by other people. The experience could be very devastating and heart breaking most especially if the ones who caused us pain are the people we hold most dear in our hearts. Once damage is done, forgiveness is the most difficult thing to do and forgetting is somewhat as elusive as literally flying without wings.

I was browsing through a social networking site one day and I saw this post from a good friend of mine, “I can still remember a teacher in high school once told us that forgiving without forgetting gives no essence to forgiveness…” Does it mean that if we can’t forget we can never forgive?

The old adage that says, “Forgive and forget…” is easier said than done. The mere fact of forgiving who caused one to feel so bad or even cause a very long time pain that may have even altered one’s life is too difficult to do. It would require so much courage to move mountains and do such an act. Forgetting on the other hand is way too far more difficult than to forgive. How could one forget that once in his life, someone made him cry every night for long years? Who made him lose his self worth, altered his life or even lose his wonderful future?

(Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/
(Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/

I have forgiven YOU... but YOU still make me cry!...

Let me share another quote from one of my favorite television series. It goes something like this:

“After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, here's what I've decided. We move on, we move out, we move away from our families and form our own. But the basic insecurities, the basic fears and all those old wounds just grow up with us. And just when we think life and circumstance have forced us truly to become an adult, your mother says something like that. Or worse, something like that. We get bigger, we get taller, we get older. But, for the most part, we're still a bunch of kids, running around the playground, trying desperately to fit in.” – (Meredith Grey, “Grey’s Anatomy”)

It is a reality that deep wounds in the past or even in our childhood linger in our hearts. As we take the journey of life, we try and try hard to forgive. We may even say and make ourselves believe that we have really forgiven all the ones who have hurt us. But each time we remember, we still burst into tears and then again try to find solace in our own little world called “secret closet of my own hurts.” It is sad and even more difficult to admit, but the forgiveness we make ourselves believe in this aspect is just too superficial and this is the very reason why the hurt we once knew are just deep within our deepest seat of emotions still lurking around and instantly coming out each time we remember.

How does one FORGIVE?

Although most people would not believe, forgetting is NOT a way to forgiveness. Forgetting may just cause one to give superficial pardoning but not real forgiveness.

Good friends may even tell us every time someone had caused us pain to just forget because the one who caused us pain does not deserve our time and effort. Our friends may really mean well when they tell us such a thing but it does not cure the pain we feel inside. Sometimes, we even feel that this pain which we may even carry to the last days of our life are just treated as trivial if we keep on believing that such an act of forgetting is the way to forgiveness. While deep down inside, we are suffering much more than anyone can imagine.

This happens every now and then because it is human nature that the more we try to forget, the more we remember. So, what then can we do?

“The fact is that very often the harmful effects of past injuries stay with us whether or not we consciously remember…” (Dr. David Scoop and Dr. James Masteller, “Forgiving Our Parents Forgiving Ourselves”)

Forgetting should be the last resort in the process of forgiveness. The hurtful acts should be remembered in a healing way* for only then can we give true forgiveness to the one who caused us pain and to our own selves. Trying hard to “forget” just causes us to suppress ourselves from remembering yet we store them in our subconscious mind. We deceive our very self and we can never be free from the pains in the past. Whenever we try to forget painful memories, we are basically in denial.

Remember in a HEALING WAY…

Sometimes we focus too much on the things that hurt us, making us miss the goodness and the wonderful blessings we receive each moment that we spend our journey with life- especially when we are hurt and dealing with so much emotional pain. Don't spend much time crying over spilled milk, smile and realize that the glass is not broken. Remember the good that the hurtful act has caused you; did it make you more mature… more responsible or other positive things that may have happened because of the harm that has been done? Has the pain made you stronger? Do not focus on how much pain you felt but keep in mind how bad things have strengthened you. Remember such hurtful memories in a different perspective and focus on the positive that it has brought into your life. Although we are aware or not, a painful past and wrongdoings of others towards us are the reasons why we get more inspired to be better… to reach for our dreams and somehow show them that we are tougher than the tough things they brought into our life.

Keep in mind that remembering in this aspect is not doing it with bitterness but with thoughtful mind to learn from what once was and with the knowledge that one could never be as sturdy as he is right now if not for what has hurt him in the past. What we are today are products of yesterdays, and there is no doubt that whether we admit it or not we are blessed because after all, we managed to live to the present.

Should you forgive....

Keeping hatred is like bringing baggage of rocks in one's journey to life...

(Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/
(Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

WHEN do I forgive?

“The process of forgiveness always begins with a decision. It is an act of the will, something we choose to do because we know it is healthy and right, even though we may not “feel like it” at the moment.” (Dr. David Scoop and Dr. James Masteller, “Forgiving Our Parents Forgiving Ourselves”)

Deciding to forgive is the first step to giving forgiveness. And in doing so, one should learn the reasons why he should decide to forgive, why it is the right thing to do and why is it healthy.

As much as we have to forgive others, we should not forget to forgive ourselves too. Sometimes, we add up to the hurts we feel because we may blame ourselves for not having the courage or the chance to do to protect it. Decide to forgive your own shortcomings and you’ll find it easier to forgive others.

Deciding to forgive is the right thing to do because, no one is perfect. And as much as others need to be forgiven, we do the same. If we keep burning bridges just because we don’t forgive, we will soon find no bridge to burn… we can never live alone. Remember the old adage, “No man is an island.”

One should decide to forgive because it does not only ease the burden of his oppressor, but his own burden as well. When one decides to forgive, he gets rid of his own hurtful feelings. It gives him peace of mind; he could feel his life lighten and he does not have to worry on making ways and reasons not to meet someone who has hurt him during an unexpected time- maybe when he goes to the mall or even when he walks down the street.

It is healthy to forgive because it helps preserve one’s sanity. It rids one off his stresses and therefore decreases the risk for him to acquire stress related diseases and illnesses someday.

If one never learns to forgive, he is just giving the one who caused him pain a chance to hurt him again and again for as long as hatred is burning in his heart. His oppressor can make him feel bad and cry rivers of tears without even trying hard.

Forgive once you have decided to forgive. Learn each day of your life to forget the hurt, but remember the act that has hurt you and the one who has done it to you in a healing way. You will someday realize that the most hurtful events in your life are really your own bridges of growth. God is pleased with the ones who know how to forgive… and He gives enough courage to those who try hard to forget the hurts of wrongdoings done to them but never forgetting the lessons learned.

As we take the journey of life, we can never be free of hurts and pains… but as long as God is beside us, we can learn to FORGIVE, and REMEMBER IN A HEALING WAY.


*Dr. David Scoop and Dr. James Masteller, “Forgiving Our Parents Forgiving Ourselves”

THANK YOU, for the HubNugget WannaBe Win!

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It is definitely easy to forgive and truly forget, but other factors come into play like did this person love you and vice cersa, was there ever a relationship or connection between the two individuals. What position did they play in each others lives and was it consistant. Did the intentionally do what they did to "hurt me". Why did they do what they did in the first place. Sometimes due to repetitive behaviors forgiving and forgetting can be hard because one would think why repeat whatever behaviors over and over if you were concerned about the other persons feelings. That is why it is sometimes hard to forget because their behavior was consistant, so how can one forget. I think forgiveness works different for everyone and some people actually believe if you forgive yourself you can move on. I won't share my belief because it is mine. But I do know that forgiveness is as humble as it sounds and if someone needs to be forgiven they will be humble in their approach and actions. Especially if they know what they have done has forever been a thorn to someone's life and side.

      Plus forgiveness really is about mending, mending and making whatever relationship better. Forgiveness is not a get out of jail free card so that you can move on. But then again wth do I know..............

    • saif113sb profile image


      7 years ago

      Very very nice and great information hub. Thanks

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Treasures0fHeaven- Having you at my page is an honor. Thanks for the heart warming words that I will always treasure! Have a happy and a blessed 2011 and always! =)

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      This is a good Hub! Congratulations on your Win. Your point about remembering in a healing way, is a good point. Terrific Job!

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      @noorenaz: Thanks for dropping by! I will be reading you hub too later. tc and God bless you more! =)

      @acaetnna: That's true my friend, forgiveness is one of the best gifts that you could ever give o yourself. See you around =)

    • acaetnna profile image


      8 years ago from Guildford

      Forgiveness is one of the hardest yet the most rewarding things that we can do. To forgive someone totally and completely however bad the deed is indeed a gift from Heaven. Great hub.

    • noorenaz profile image


      8 years ago from MAURITUS

      Hello Dj, Interesting Hub.

      i agree with you, so true.!!

      nowadayz im learning to forgive & forget "deep scars", if u will read my 1st Hub (if you have time of course): btw i have only 2 Hubs, you can have an idea.

      see you. GOD BLess.! TC

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      @Peggy: Thanks so much for dropping by again Peggy. You never fail to brighten up my day with your kind words! I am so blessed having met you at HP! =)

      @FloBe: Thanks so much for dropping by and for finding this topic important. See you around! =)

    • FloBe profile image

      Flo Belanger 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You covered some very important aspects of forgiveness. It's true that when we put all our energy into "forgetting" we are actually just entrenching the hurt deeper into our heart and not actually finding healing for it. Forgiveness is more about no longer holding the other person accountable to us for what they've done. They are still responsible for what they've done, but we no longer seek revenge and allow the bitterness to eat away at us. Forgiveness frees us from feeling like they still have power over us. What an important topic!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Your words and those quoted were wise and the video was great with not only words of wisdom regarding forgiveness, but wonderful photos and music in addition. Congratulations on your hubnuggets win!

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      @Hubpageswriter: That's true my friend, your own hatred can ruin you if you let it linger too long. Thanks for spending time with my hub! Wishing you all the best! =)

      @Micky: Thanks for all your heart warming comments my friend! God bless! =)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      "Keeping hatred is like bringing baggage of rocks in one's journey to life..." - You've another hub. You're batting a thousand!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Absolutely right. Hatred is only going to destroy and cause grievous emotions in the long run. It's best to crush those things and focus on what lies in the future.

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Thanks so much RedElf... having such a compliment from you means a lot! God bless! =)

    • RedElf profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Excellent article, Dj, and welcome back. This certainly deserves it's HubNugget win!

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      I am so happy to know that I have made a great day for someone =) Thanks so much! God bless! =)

    • profile image

      Ayoola Isaac 

      9 years ago

      You have made my day. So, it is true, holding to past makes no life. From now anything in my life of the past that block my way to succesful new life are broken loose through ..frogiveness and forgetting the past in Jesus name. Amen Congrats, on being selected in this week's HubNuggets Wannabe contest. Good Luck!

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Thank you so much Aley and Suny51 for finding this hub beautiful! God bless you more. =)

    • suny51 profile image


      9 years ago

      Thats what every one is taught,every one who has faith in Him and in himself would follow what ever you have written so beautifully. God bless you.

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 

      9 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Beautifully written. Congrats on your award!

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Thanks so much RT... and for the 5 stars! =)

    • RecoverToday profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Excellent material on forgiveness and moving on. You obviously have much insight into the subject. I give you 5 stars!!!

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Thank you so much Money Glitch... your kind words mean a lot!God bless! =)

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Wonderful hub, and I love the ending to "forgive and remember in a healing way". It is important to realize that you might remember the incident but it's important to realize that you have healed and moved on. Congrats, on being selected in this week's HubNuggets Wannabe contest. Good Luck! :)

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      @Pamela99: That's true, we can all be hurt in many ways and one of the best thing that we could do is forgiving others and our very self although it may be difficult at first. Your comment made my day, thank you for spending time with my hub... it means a lot! tc and God bless! =)

      @barryrutherford: Thanks so much for finding this hub beautiful! =)

      @ripplemaker: I am so surpirsed... and flattered to know that my hub was visited by a hub elite! Thank you so much for spending time with my hub and for bringing me an unexpected good news! Thank you so much "kababayan"... tc and God bless! =)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Dj from the Philippines! It's wonderful to see another Filipino on Hubpages :) Whew this is a challenging topic to write about and I loved what you wrote about forgiving and remember in a healing way. I too believe that in time (when one has come to a place of true forgiveness) the pain of the memory will lose its sting.

      And now I come to tell you good news. Your hub has been nominated in the Gender & Relationships Category of the Hubnuggets! Woohoo... go vote please:

      Also do participate in the Hubnuggets forum:

      To forgiveness and the joy of the Hubnuggets, cheers!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This was a very good article and you're right in that we all deal with this sometime in our lives. I know it is healthy, mentally, emotionally and physically if I forgive so that is some incentive but you do have to make a decision first. I forgive usually through prayer once I make the decision. I ask for God's help to forgive because I seem unable to do so by myself if I am really hurt. You never forget but you can get to a point of remembering without the pain attached. Great hub.

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      That's true Polly, sometimes we can forgive but we just can't stay or be with the person who caused us pain like we used to anymore. Thanks for dropping by! =)

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      9 years ago from US

      Forgiveness is very hard and I don't think it always requires forgetting, sometimes I think that would even be stupid, if we learn a lesson do we want to forget it and be hurt again? I also think forgiveness depends on the person and how deeply we have been hurt. I forgave my mother-in-law years ago but I had to live with that because she never changed until she got Alzheimer's, then she loved me and called her son my husband. We can't hate but sometimes it is just best to remove ourselves from people who will require daily forgiveness. And our spouses or partners, that is so deep and we do have to forgive if we remain with them but when they hurt goes so deep I think it may not be possible to forget when someone physically breaks your heart, maybe in time, maybe not, but we can find ways to get through it or should try.

    • DjBryle profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      @Precious: Thank you so much for such kind of an appreciation. In God's time, all wounds heal and as we look back, the worst times are the times that we were carried much more in HIS loving care. All the best! Just one question, do I know you personally? =) ... just asking. take care and God bless!

      @Luvmay82: Thanks for the kind words. God bless! =)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      So true...very good tool to use when we are faced with such a dilemma.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      maam jen, this message came on time...

      jst today, as browsing around the social network group (like you did as well) i passed by an account of a person dearly close to me before but had the most devastating ending.

      then the past memories just came in as a flash...

      now looking at the wedding picture of him, unconsciously it made me feel upset...i know id forgiven him way back, but ill admit its really to hard to forget..

      now im on ur page im moved by the message 'there is no future in the past' ....

      now i have reason to smile...

      and i thank u,this post made me realized a lot of things...


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