Simplify Your Relationships

You Can Forgive Without Forgetting

This lesson took me a really long time to learn.

I’ve hurt people.  I know I have.

I don’t need it pointed out to me.  I don’t need other people telling other people about it.  I don’t need other people to act like it doesn’t matter.  It DOES matter.

I’ve been hurt by people.

I don’t need to point it out.  I don’t need to tell other people about it.  I don’t need to act like it doesn’t matter.  It DOES matter.

I’ve been forgiven by people I’ve hurt.  I’ve forgiven people who’ve hurt me.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, does that mean people should just forget about awful I treated them?  Does it mean I should just forget how awful I’ve been treated?  Does it mean you have to do that too?


Forgiveness is a benefit for both parties.  It’s a mutual understanding that hurt has occurred, but it should also be an understanding that the hurter has learned from the experience and will work to change themselves so they don’t do it again.  It’s an understanding that the hurt person will be cautious from now on, probably less trusting and less vulnerable.

… and that’s okay

Saying you forgive someone doesn’t mean you’re going to go back to the way things were before.  They will never be the same no matter what you say or do.  It’s an acknowledgment of the hurtful words or actions.  It’s letting go of the hurt.  It’s clearing the air (as much as it can be cleared).

You CAN forgive, but you don’t have to ever forget.

They don’t have to go together.

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