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Secret of Happiness - Forgive and forget

Updated on March 15, 2015

It happens to all of us. We feel betrayed or slighted, dealt with unfairly, or made to lose in some way – materially or otherwise – and that sets off a process of grievance and recrimination or silent suffering. The pain hurts, and periodically prompts us to unburden ourselves by crying on someone’s shoulder or giving vent to the rage boiling within, by picking on unrelated and silly issues, which might otherwise have been ignored. We are no longer the person we were.

Friends and well-wishers who are close to us and are privy to our inner dilemmas and problems, may understand what is happening, and offer advice. Usually the advice is to ‘forgive and forget’ - which is something that we cannot, even in our wildest imagination, think of.  How can we forgive and let the other person go scot free – unpunished - for the damage and pain caused? No way. Besides, ‘forgive and forget’ is too much of a cliché, too much of a moralistic, impractical position for today’s world, and cannot be taken seriously. So no point going down that path - which is good enough reason to disregard the advice.

But, if we look at it dispassionately, there is a lot of sense in the idea of forgivance. For, while we assume that by forgiving we are giving away something or benefiting the other person, the fact is that forgiving actually benefits the forgiver much more than the person being forgiven.

·      By forgiving, we are freed of the vitriol of negativity and rage building inside and corroding us.  It will restore us back to a healthy state and we will feel the difference, emotionally as well as physically.

·      Forgiveness often takes the other person by surprise and prompts him to re-evaluate you. He may even become remorseful for what he did, or looking at your psychological superiority, may even become an admirer or supporter.

·      The act of forgiving would make you stand taller among your friends and social network, as heart of heart, everybody knows how difficult it is to forgive. As Mahatma Gandhi said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

·      Forgiving would result in forgetting, That is, the tendency to remember the person or incident and recall the grievance every now and then, would gradually fade away and you would be able to look at the incident as just another event. The discomfort experienced earlier at the time of recall of the event would be replaced by a degree of comfort and indifference.

·      By forgiving, you actually empty trash from your system so that it becomes efficient. It’s really a great opportunity to revitalize yourself.

There is thus a strong case for taking this advice seriously and resolving our conflict-ridden relationships to make our lives better for ourselves. Those of us who say with great pride “I won’t forgive that fellow for what he has done – until my dying day” need to re-evaluate their position and, develop the courage required to be able to forgive.

Think of it - if all of us learn to forgive and forget, our world would become a much better place to live in. 


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  • Vinodkpillai profile image

    Vinodkpillai 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India

    Thank you Christywrites for your comment and link. Coming as it does from the author of a fantastic hub about reasons to forgive and forget, adds value - thanks!

  • ChristyWrites profile image

    Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    What a great hub, thank-you. I have linked to it in my newest hub about reasons to forgive and forget.