To truly forgive someone, do you have to forget?

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  1. LaVieja profile image59
    LaViejaposted 12 years ago

    People often say forgive and forget, but is it true? Can you forgive someone despite not forgetting? Or does true forgiveness only come when it is forgotten?

    1. NewYorker profile image57
      NewYorkerposted 12 years agoin reply to this


      You can forgive without forgetting.. Duuuh

      1. LaVieja profile image59
        LaViejaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I'm not sure thats true of everything.

        1. NewYorker profile image57
          NewYorkerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I was making a smartass comment..

    2. Cagsil profile image78
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      This one statement "forgive and forget" is foolishness beyond all comprehension. Simply because the human being can pull or trigger any action against them, regardless of what it may be, just by a simple word or visual spark.

      Forgive. Yes, you can forgive someone of something. Once you have, you will no longer visit the issue as a negative, because you'll have discerned the truth and made peace with it. And, most importantly, you will have moved on.

      As I stated above.

      No such address as true forgiveness. You either forgive the person for their actions or you don't. Once you accept it happened, absorbed the pain, dealt with it, become the better person and forgive them, then you move on with your life.

      Forgetting isn't an option. Simply because of being human. smile

      Hope that helped. smile

      1. LaVieja profile image59
        LaViejaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, thank you. You put it very well. I was just interested in finding out what other people thought as it was the topic of a meeting I attended last week.

      2. AnythingArtzy profile image69
        AnythingArtzyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        couldn't have said it better myself cagsil

        1. Cagsil profile image78
          Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you AnythingArtzy. smile

          1. drej2522 profile image71
            drej2522posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Agreed, well stated...See, every once in a while I agree with Cagsil! This is perfect!

    3. rebekahELLE profile image86
      rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      forgiveness is acceptance. to forget just means to move on and quit concentrating on it. but it's still in one of those files in our brains. with less focus, you won't think about it so much.

    4. Misha profile image63
      Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Umm, to truly forgive someone you need to understand them first. Why exactly did they do the thing you are trying to forgive. Once you do, you don't have any need to forget... smile

    5. goldenpath profile image63
      goldenpathposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Forgiveness, yes!  Blind forgiveness, no!  We need not continue being run over by the same individuals for the same reasons over and over again.  In our forgiveness we are to learn so that next time we will handle the situation differently.  Be more cautious.  If it concerns money I would say do not extend money a second time.  If someone is in straights you may help them find the resources for aid or help them find minimal work.  We are to forgive but we are also to take care of ourselves and family.

    6. curlytree2009 profile image35
      curlytree2009posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      No. You can still forgive someone even without forgetting. You just have to focus your mind, keep your mind open. It should be another lesson learned.

  2. prettydarkhorse profile image54
    prettydarkhorseposted 12 years ago

    forgetting is too long loving is too short, this is offline hehe

    BTW forgive yes, forget no, but at times you can do both. it depends on how deep the wound is

  3. Hokey profile image61
    Hokeyposted 12 years ago

    Forgive yourself for letting it happen. Then you can forgive them. Never forget.

  4. Cagsil profile image78
    Cagsilposted 12 years ago

    I know. I was giving my way of handling what you asked.

    I was not giving you advice. I was showing the simplistic solution for handling a problem. It will very from person to person, because each person handles problems differently.

    And what did you learn at your meeting? I'm curious, please indulge. smile

    1. LaVieja profile image59
      LaViejaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      My son is making his First Holy Communion and it was a class for parents on how to prepare your child for their first confession. We were asked do we forgive and forget? Is there anything that is unforgivable? Is it easier to forgive or be forgiven? It didn't provide me with any answers, but it did raise a lot of questions in my mind. And I am now trying to get it sorted in my own head because I will no doubt be questioned/challenged by my son when we discuss it, and to be honest I am not sure what I am going to say. I do forgive but I don't forget, and I thought that in God's eyes that ultimately wasn't really true forgiveness as surely, you would forget if you had truly forgiven. But the catechist talked about reconciliation and stages of forgiveness which totally threw a spanner in the works for me! Anyway, this is probably not what you were expecting to hear, so I shall stop babbling!

  5. profile image0
    lyricsingrayposted 12 years ago

    forgive, yes, but never completely because how can you forget?

    1. Jane@CM profile image59
      Jane@CMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      so true

  6. Daniel Carter profile image64
    Daniel Carterposted 12 years ago

    Personally, I think forgiveness is important because it frees you from the chains and bondage that hatred creates. It sets you free. Forgetting is irrelevant. If you *truly* forget, then you would forget the harsh lessons you have to learn in the process, thus rendering the experience useless.

    But forgiving, to me, means that what has happened no longer has any power or effect over you. You're no longer troubled by it and you've moved forward. The perpetrators of what happened no longer have power over you either, and they are no threat. You are content with or without them.

    I don't forgive easily, but I have been able to forgive, and it's made a huge difference in the quality of life I live.

  7. TINA V profile image70
    TINA Vposted 12 years ago

    To forgive and to forget are not easy things to do. When somebody hurts us and he/ she asks for forgiveness, we can easily say that we forgive him/ her.  But it is not easy to forget what had happened, although it would depend on the depth of the wound. It can be healed but sometimes the scar is still there. To some extent, the scar may sometimes lessen.  However, I still believe on the saying that "time heals."  By not forgetting what happened, it can still affect the relationship.

  8. profile image0
    lyricsingrayposted 12 years ago

    to forgive is to accept but forget? impossible, accept and move on, hopefully learn something from it.

    1. Hokey profile image61
      Hokeyposted 12 years agoin reply to this


      1. Sally's Trove profile image78
        Sally's Troveposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Exactly, acknowledge the hurt, forgive the trespasser, accept that all that happened, take it to heart and learn.  Most important, move on. None of it will be forgotten, at least not for a long time. But it can be forgiven.

  9. lorlie6 profile image75
    lorlie6posted 12 years ago

    Lyrics has it down.  There have been times in my life when I've chosen to 'forgive,' but where would the learning come in if I 'forgot?'  Not realistic.

    1. profile image0
      shazwellynposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      absolutely!   Once bitten, twice shy... but you can forgive the bite!

  10. profile image0
    poetlorraineposted 12 years ago

    nice to forget if you can, but sometimes it's such a learning experience you just cannot.

  11. jenblacksheep profile image69
    jenblacksheepposted 12 years ago

    There's no such thing as forgive and forget. If someone does something that truly hurts you then i don't think it is possible to forgive or forget. When people say that they clearly haven't really been hurt or they are lying. I think you can move on from something but I don't think you really forgive, people only say that to keep the peace.

    Ye, I'm cynical, but I'm just going by my experience.

  12. wavegirl22 profile image36
    wavegirl22posted 12 years ago

    When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future.

  13. Lita C. Malicdem profile image60
    Lita C. Malicdemposted 12 years ago

    Forgiving a wrong done to you and forgetting it after, aren't done with lightning speed. When you have been totally healed, which takes a long time and process, then forgetting without effort follows.

  14. profile image51
    Amazin Gracieposted 12 years ago

    Forgiving trivial event is a snap
    Forgiving a painful event, abuse etc. is s misnomer.
    The goal is to acknowledge what hurt, deal with the pain, and release the anger. Don't let it trespass on your mental real estate - to do so gives away your own power.
    Forgetting a major event is impossible; desensitize its importance to ensure you move forward.
    Don't hate - you're investing in a useless emotion - paralyzing.
    Above all don't deny and stuff - painful memories don't disappear. Denial ensures they remain in the background.

    1. Chaotic Chica profile image60
      Chaotic Chicaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think that most people here have a pretty good handle on the topic. Yes, you can forgive, no you never forget.  Forgiving means that you have made peace with the offense in question.  It does not mean that the memory of what happened, which you cannot just will away, does not still carry some pain.  I have long since forgiven the man who stole my innocence and have moved on but every so often someone says something, I see something, or some other action occurs that reminds of me what happened to me and I remember it as clearly as yesterday. It makes me sad, I get upset, but I remind myself that what was done is done and my life now is good. Not because of him, but because of me.  Humans are not programmed to forget the things that cause us great emotion, joy, fear, anger, humiliation, and the like.  We are, however, given the gift of the ability to forgive.  The best part of forgiving someone is that they often are so suprised by the act that they never forget it themselves.


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