FORGIVE AND FORGET?   8 comments

I have really enjoyed seeing sales of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” increase as I’ve shared some reviews, but I had promised to get rolling on the issue of forgiveness. So here’s my first entry. It ties directly back to promises I made when my web site was established some time ago.

First, let me say that I personally don’t like posts that are too long. I find myself anxious to get back to writing “My Father’s House,” so I’ll assume that it’s a good idea to keep my own posts short. That means what I say is going to be imperfect. I hope that in itself will encourage arguments, examples, and other comments.

So, here goes.

I loved Lewis Smedes “Forgive and Forget,” but I hated the title. I was told later by someone who knew him personally that he didn’t like it either. Publishers have a way of imposing things on authors. Why not like it? Because it’s basically impossible, certainly unrealistic, to think you can forget the offense you’ve suffered.

Try to shove the offense out of your mind? Well, to put it maybe too simply, but realistically, you’ll be pushing it into your body to create all the possible negative effects of stress. Like a viral or bacterial infection it will grow without control.

The truth is, you can work on relieving the terrible aftermath of suffering an offense, but you won’t forget it. What will happen with good forgiveness work is you’ll lose the emotional pain and protect your body.

Forgiveness usually takes hard work over time. Why would you want to forget the benefits of that herculean effort and all you learned from it?

If I can tear myself away from my other writing, I’ll soon be sharing the forgiveness process as presented in “Forgiving One Page at a Time.”

By the way, I loved Smedes’ later book, “The Art of Forgiving

I grieved as if I had known him personally when he died.

8 responses to “FORGIVE AND FORGET?

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  1. I know what you mean, Mona. Still, I used to drag around grievances en masse, and now they are few – and I have forgotten the ones that I swore i would never forgive. They disappeared not because I told my self that I had to forget – but simply because they lost their charge and then vaporated

    • An interesting take, Leelah. Do you think maybe all the other work you have done with forgiveness spills over into other things you may not have tended to directly?

      And/or, I think it’s true that a lot of the psychological work goes on below the level of consciousness. What do you think?

      • to your first question: absolutely – I think that as soon as I am willing to see things differently – behind the surface – the joy and release i feel bleeds over to similar situations with the same energy. So that is my take on your second question too 🙂 warm hug!

      • Great answers! Love it

  2. I agree. At first I couldn’t see what was wrong with that title, but after reading your explanation, it makes perfect sense. Grievances lose their sting with time, and if you don’t dwell on them, they almost disappear.

  3. Thank you for sharing your deep knowledge about this topic. I learn so much from reading posts like this one. I think you are right about the length. The length of this post seems about right to me.

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