When someone betrays a trust, the usual, logical and natural process (after the five stages of grief) is of course to forgive and forget.
But can you actually forget?
You can forgive for sure, that’s something you can decide to do.
But forget? That’s more complicated.
Since whatever happened, happened. It can’t be erased from memory, it’s there forever.
Forgetting would be good, it would be healthy, since if you don’t, it’s with you all the time and you can’t get over it.
“Never forget” is the sentence that has been said for a long time since many horrible events.
So, you are supposed to forgive, but not forget. Since if you forget, you’re doomed to repeat the history, right?
So forgetting is something you should do in small, personal betrayals, but not with serious or things that involve someone getting hurt or killed?
If your spouse cheats on you, you can forgive and forget, but if (s)he beats you up, you may forgive but not forget?
It’s said that forgiveness is good for the soul. It probably is, since forgiveness is all about you, not about the other one.
You need to forgive for your own sake, to let go. So you can move on.
And forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to ever tell the person you forgive that (s)he is forgiven. They don’t need that information, you do. You need to have the inner peace that comes with forgiveness, but it’s not necessary at all to spread that information unless you want to.
But forget – should you forget what has been done to you?
Remembering all the bad things all the time can be energy consuming. And it won’t let you move on. So moving on requires forgetting?
Maybe you can remember, but not constantly, not having the thing on your mind all the time. Can you?
If you’re beaten, raped, humiliated, your loved one is hurt or killed – should you, and could even forget it?
What good comes from forgetting? What good comes from remembering?
Is it fair to require both forgiving and forgetting?
Isn’t forgiving enough, since that is what you need to heal? But that you should also forget?
Well, there’s always the possibility not to forgive. But you can’t forget and not forgive. Since the not-forgiving will probably stay with you, gnaw at you.
It seems the forgiving is something you can and probably should do – again, simply because of your own well-being. But forgetting isn’t probably possible nor is it even necessarily recommended.
Can you forgive and forget?