Why Forgive And Forget Is Still A Great Policy

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Nowadays, you read so much about why you should let go of the past. And I totally agree. However, it’s also important to know how to let go of the past.

In time, most people will come to grips with why they should do it. But many of them will get stuck on actually taking the steps to make it happen.

Since you were a child, you have heard the maxim to forgive and forget. And it is important because it helps you to move on with your life as well as keeps friends you may have lost.

Easier said than done

However, it is a policy that is easier said than done. Memories tend to stick even if you say you will forget. It would be great if we could magically erase these bad memories of what people have done as if they never happened, but that just isn’t possible.

You may be willing to forgive, but find it hard to forget. If this is the case, then concentrate on the forgiveness.

Time needs to pass before you can get to the point of forgetting or at least, making the issue less important in your mind. Forgiving may be enough to get you to move on with your life.

Forgive And Forget
“When the mind once allows a doubt to gain entrance, the value of deeds performed grow less, their character changes, we forget the past and dread the future.” – Jules Verne

The Living Years

You may have heard the song by Mike and the Mechanics called, In the Living Years, released in 1988. It was a beautiful song often played on radio stations at the time.

Some would say it became overplayed. But, this is what usually happens with beautiful songs.

The message of the song is that if we wait until people die, we won’t be able to tell them what they mean to us and that we love them. Also, the chorus mentions about admitting to not seeing eye to eye. We can only do this when we are alive.

The song seems directed at parent/adult children relationships. However, it’s appropriate for anyone who you are or have been close with, including family and friends.

Forgive And Forget
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

By holding onto the past and carrying grudges, you risk not being able to try to make things right while you both are still living. You always think you have tomorrow to do it.

Life is short

However, one day you find that the other person is no longer with you. Life indeed is as short as people say it is.

What many people find when they talk things out, is they can’t remember what got them upset in the first place. It becomes trivial.

Think about a time when you and a family member or friend put aside your differences. You may have gotten a good laugh about how it all came to be. That often happens in these types of situations.

Our family is all we have in the world. Even as friends come and go, we need the support of our families.

While work and community obligations are important, try to make time to see your family as often as you can. That’s obviously tougher when families are apart due to their physical location.

Forgive And Forget
“I am someone who can’t hold on to negativity or hold on to grudges. Of course I might feel something at a certain point, but I get tired after that. I don’t carry it with me. I forgive and forget very easily, and that’s the only way to be happy and peaceful.” – Deepika Padukone

But, even families who are geographically close to each other often don’t visit as much as they should.

Agree to disagree

When you do get together, and you don’t tend to see eye-to-eye with certain members of your family, try to keep the conversations away from sensitive areas. For instance, if you have differences of opinion regarding politics, try talking sports instead.

If you get onto sensitive subjects, try to keep the conversations respectful. Consider all views and keep an open mind. The phrase, “agree to disagree” is a great one to diffuse these volatile situations.

When you do forgive someone, make sure you don’t bring up the issue over and over again. If you do, then you haven’t truly forgiven the other person.

Forgive And Forget
“You cannot define a person on just one thing. You can’t just forget all these wonderful and good things that a person has done because one thing didn’t come off the way you thought it should come off.” – Aretha Franklin

If you can’t forgive, then be honest. Express your need for more time. Tell them you are willing to explore it again sometime in the future.

Some people may not be worth the trouble of forgiving and forgetting. If someone you know is not dependable and never was, they are going to continue to let you down. So why go through the trouble of forgiving them, let alone forgetting?

You may even still choose to associate with the person but without trusting what they will do. However, this can be emotionally draining for you, and it may be best to sever all ties.

Be honest

Above all, be honest with people. Don’t fake forgiveness and then go around talking behind that person’s back.

You then lower yourself to their level. If you are hurting because of their actions, and they are asking for forgiveness, be sincere about how you proceed.

You may hurt someone’s feelings by stating that you don’t forgive them. But, you will do far worse if you pretend that you have when you haven’t.

Although you may never forget, you will get to the point where it is no longer worth your trouble to worry.

Forgive And Forget
“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” – Marianne Williamson

It takes energy to focus on the past. Why drain that power when you can put it to great use in more positive ways?

You’ll feel better, and everyone around you will feel better. The person you are trying to forgive will also benefit.

By now you might be asking yourself how can I let go of the past. Here follow six steps that will help you do just that:

Learn from past experiences

There are learning nuggets contained within your past. Anything you have done or tried before is up for grabs in the University of your past. It’s up to you to recognise what those lessons are and how to use them effectively. The way to use them is to determine why they happened and how to avoid them in the future.

Give yourself permission to forgive and let go of the past

Your brain can latch onto something and is waiting for you to release the responsibility. By committing to this release, your brain can focus on other productive areas. That release comes in the form of telling yourself to let go.

Learn to meditate

When you are relaxed, you will have an easier time of purging your past. One of the best forms of relaxation is meditation. It takes several sessions to get your body and mind in tune with the techniques. Don’t expect fast solutions with this. The key is to keep doing it until you feel the effects.

Don’t hide from your past. People try to pretend certain aspects of their past did not happen, especially the more embarrassing moments. However, this may cause them to come back to you with a vengeance since they are bottling up within you. Acknowledge everything about your past but commit to pushing forward.

Concentrate on the good aspects of your past

Sometimes, you may focus on your mistakes and mask the fact that you had some wonderful experiences in the past as well. These are equally important.

Forgive And Forget
“We need to look to the future. You can’t come up with new things unless you constantly forget the past. There’s no reason to keep wearing the same pair of pants.” – Andrew Lau

And many of us are too hard on ourselves about the past. Stop that right now. It’s okayto acknowledge that you made some mistakes but don’t get overly critical of them.

Journal your experiences

Be as detailed as possible so you can refer to the journal when faced with similar circumstances in the future. Don’t treat your journal as a bible, however. Just use the journal as a guideline.

Give it time

It took a long time to get into this situation and it will take time to resolve it.

As with all complex issues, don’t expect all changes to occur immediately. Some past habits may be difficult to break, so don’t try to change everything in one shot.

Give it time. It took a long time to get into this situation and it will take time to resolve it.

If pride is getting in the way of resolving the issue, try to cast it aside. It could be just the right instance to get something wonderful going once again.

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David Brett-Williams